Working with children

Programmes and services

We work with and fund a number of programmes and services that provide support to families and communities. Our programmes and services vary in their approach, because different people need different things, at different stages of their lives.

Some of our programmes and services are about early intervention – stopping the cycle before it happens. Others are about empowering our communities at a grass-roots level – giving them a voice and influence over the decisions that affect them. 


Services in Schools

Social Workers in Schools (SWiS)

SWiS is a primary and intermediate-school based community social work service. SWiS social workers are available to support selected primary, intermediate, composite and Kura Kaupapa Māori schools; working primarily with children in years one to eight (ages 5 -12).

Referrals can be made by the children or family themselves, the school, or community or government agencies. Referrals need the consent of the parent or primary caregiver and families' involvement helps achieve long-term successful outcomes.

Social workers work with the most at-risk children, their families/whānau and schools, to develop plans to improve their safety, wellbeing and educational outcomes.

SWiS social workers are employed by NGOs. They work in partnership with school staff as part of the school community; however they are not employed by the school.

SWiS process - suitable for printing as a poster. This can be used as an engagement tool in schools or in conversations with Principals, teachers or parents. 
See the poster - can be printed as A3 or A1

SWiS visual identity - includes the way the design ‘tells the story’ of SWiS mahi and the usage of the Te Hunga Tauwhiro I te Kura title.
See the poster - can be printed as A3 or A1 

SWiS Brand Guidelines - These provide technical information on how to use the SWiS visual identity, including versions of the logo, colours etc.

These Guidelines are to be used for any collateral SwiS providers or workers may wish to produce, such as business cards, pamphlets, websites, newsletters etc. If you have specific further technical questions (such as asking for assistance with a template) or to request specific png, jpeg, eps or gif format files of logos, please email:

Read the Guidelines

SDQ reporting process - This poster outlines the steps and timeframes involved in the SDQ reporting process. 
See the poster  - recommended to be printed in A3

adult and young person

Multi Agency Support Services in Secondary Schools (MASSiSS)

This school-based community social work service provides early assistance and intervention to young people and their families when social or family circumstances are causing the child to struggle with education, health, mental health or social development. The aim is to see safe, healthy and socialised children with a strong sense of identity, who are fully engaged in school.

Referrals can be made by the young person or family themselves, the school, or community or government agencies. Referrals need the consent of the parents or primary caregiver. The families involvement helps achieve long-term successful outcomes.

MASSiSS staff, including social workers, are employed by NGO social service providers. They work in partnership with school staff, as part of the school community.

Youth Workers in Secondary Schools (YWISS)

The transition to secondary school is often a challenging time for young people, particularly the move up to year nine. 

Youth workers mentor young people who are at risk of, or are actively disengaging from school. The aim is to improve their school attendance, engagement, achievement and wellbeing, with an emphasis on mental health.

The service is available to young people and their families and whānau, at no cost to them. The youth workers are contracted by NGO providers, and funded by Oranga Tamariki. They work in partnership with school staff, as part of the school community.


Strengths & Difficulties Questionnaire (SDQ) Manual - SWiS, YWiSS and MASSiSS providers 

The manual includes:

  • an overview of what the SDQ is, how it works, and why we are using it
  • a step-by-step guide on using the SDQscore website (including registration instructions)
  • reporting processes
  • requently asked questions.


SWiS Reporting Guide – Getting the most out of reporting – SWiS, YWiSS and MASSiSS providers
This is a short (2-page) step-by-step guide to the SWiS reporting process 


SDQ Postcards: How to obtain further copies

SDQ postcardsTwo postcards have been produced to inform korero by SWiS social workers with parents, whānau and teachers on completing the Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaire (SDQ). Postcards have Te Reo Māori on one side, English on the other; with another variant being Samoan/English.

Postcards can be obtained by contacting the Partnering for Outcomes advisor who will arrange for copies to be sent out to you (at no cost). 


For all services

Providers: for more information or to request additional resources - please contact your Oranga Tamariki, Partnering for Outcomes regional advisor.

See copies of Services Specifications and Partnering Agreements, in alphabetical listing by service type

Parents or another school-based professional - contact your school.

Principals - contact your Ministry of Education regional advisor.

Supporting Transfer and Transitions

Sometimes clients will move to another region of New Zealand or transition from primary/intermediate to high school.

The following links to the Family Services Directory provide a list of SWiS, MASSiSS and YWiSS providers to coordinate transfers/transitions with.

Use the location filters to find service providers in the areas you are looking for.

The information in the Family Services Directory can also be used to coordinate regional hui with local service providers.