Topics: Domestic Violence, Health, Housing, Welfare

Kaitoko workers to hold protest

By Gloria (Korōria) Taumaunu
  • Auckland

A network of social workers whose jobs will be axed when their Whānau Ora funding ends, are organising a protest against the decision not to renew their funding.

Kaitoko is a national network of social workers that was established under Dr Pita Sharples in 2011 on a three year Whānau Ora contract.  The workers deal with a range of social issues, including drug and alcohol addiction, the homeless, youth crime, suicide prevention, housing, gangs, facilitating the return of children under CYFS care into their whanau, truancy, family violence and breakups.

However, many of the 50 social workers have been informed by their employers that their contracts will be terminated in June, when an extension of their contract issued by Māori Development Minister Te Ururoa Flavell last year comes to an end.

The group said in a press statement today that, “these specialist social workers have been working tirelessly over the past five years, predominantly with hard to access families that have fallen through the gaps.”

“Each social worker carried a maximum of twenty families at any one time. The average time frame ranged between 1 to 2 years until all issues were dealt with and families could walk on their own many with brighter futures.”

A hui to discuss the issue will be held at Ngā Whare Wātea in Auckland at 10am tomorrow.