Social Workers in Schools (SWiS) is part of the Ministry of Social Development’s Strengthening Families initiative.

ATWC employs over 30 qualified social workers in 48 primary, intermediate and secondary schools in Avondale, Glen Innes, Mangere, Onehunga, Otahuhu, Otara, Papatoetoe, Pt England, Royal Oak and Sylvia Park.

Social Workers in Schools are qualified social work practitioners who are experienced in working with children, young people and their families to help find solutions to issues that impact on their education, well-being and rights as children and young people.

SWiS is a FREE and confidential service that is based in schools during normal school operating hours and is also available during school holidays.

Social Workers in Schools can:

  • Work with individuals and also with their families or extended family
  • Work with teachers, public health nurses and other school staff
  • Assist with housing/benefits and access to community support and networks
  • Offer parenting support
  • Discuss legal advice
  • Support referrals to community-based services such as counsellors
  • Provide group programmes to support students at school
  • Offer advocacy support to young people and families

Our social workers can help – in strict confidence – with issues including bullying, peer pressure and relationships, family relationships, pregnancy, domestic violence, drug and alcohol issues and mental health issues such as depression, grief and self-harm.

How do I contact a Social Worker?

SWiS workers are at school most days but are sometimes off-site as their work involves visiting families at home and working with other agencies.

If you think one of our SWiS team might be able to help, call into the SWiS office or ask the school office staff to call one of our social workers on their cellphone and they will get back to you.

Social Work records are confidential and kept separate from other school records. You are welcome to discuss situations with SWiS staff who can offer advice without a formal referral.

Who Can Refer You to the Social Worker?

You can refer yourself to a social worker. Your teachers, deans, family or friends can also refer you with your consent and your family will not be referred without your consent.

SWiS Referral Form Schools With Social Workers

For More Information

If you have any concerns about a social worker or service delivery please call our Senior Manager for Social Workers in Schools Elizabeth Walker-Tautali on 09 276 3729 or 0275 234 339 or email

If you have any questions about SWiS please contact our SWiS admin Aroha Ruka on 09 276 379 or email


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