Call for papers: Women in social work

Special issue proposal: Women in social work- practice, policy, education and research

Kia ora, Talofa lava, Kia orana, Mälö e lelei, Fakaalofa lahi atu, Bula vinaka, Namaste, Malo ni, Halo ola keta, Mauri, Fakatalofa atu, Kia ora and Warm Pacific Greetings

Stephanie Wahab, Ben Anderson-Nathe and Christina Gringeri write in the introduction to ‘Feminisms in Social Work Research’ (Routledge,2015, p. 1) that “social work as a profession and academic discipline has long concerned itself with women and issues related to women and their social conditions” citing reproductive rights, labour rights, violence and poverty among the areas of concern.

In Aotearoa and internationally in 2017 women still face challenges to reproductive rights, disadvantage in work and income, experience of violence and sexual harassment and Maori and other Indigenous women in particular experience significant health disparities.  Women are disproportionately high users of social services. They also provide a significant portion of social service care to their families and communities.

Women in social work are particularly affected by lack of equal pay for work of equal value, many entering professional social work with personal experiences of violence, trauma and poverty.  Women also outnumber men in social work education and in the world of academia bringing with them the impacts of inequality in income, esteem and disproportionate caring responsibilities.

We are seeking submissions for a special issue of Aotearoa New Zealand Social Work to be published in 2019 as 31(1). The issue will encompass articles which address issues, themes and ideas from the domains of practice, policy, education and research with a focus on women as participants in social work and welfare systems. Articles may be theoretical or empirical. Reviews of literature and or policy are welcome but these must be focused on a central inquiry of relevance to women in social work and welfare systems.

We will also seek or commission book reviews and short topical pieces offering readers’ critical commentaries on published articles, analyses of policy or practice developments, and reports on research-informed practice innovations.

Full articles should be no longer than 6500 words including references and material in tables.  We will also accept shorter research reports of  3000 words.  Viewpoints of 2000 words which focus on recent events or current topics of relevance to the theme are welcome from practitioners, students and educators.

Submissions of full articles will be anonymously reviewed by at least two reviewers. Reviewers will be asked to offer constructive feedback to authors. The deadline for submission of full papers for this themed issue is 2 February 2018.  

SUBMISSION: Please write to the editors with a brief outline of your intended article for this special issue and we will send you the author guidelines for the preparation of your manuscript.

SPECIAL ISSUE EDITORS:  Liz Beddoe, Jane Maidment, Miriama Scott and Analosa Veukiso-Ulugia

Contact the editors here:


Liz Beddoe is an associate professor in the Faculty of Education and Social Work, University of Auckland. Liz’s teaching and research interests include critical perspectives on social work education and professional supervision. Recent books include the co-authored ‘Challenges in Professional Supervision’ (2016, Jessica Kingsley Publishers) with Allyson Davys and ‘Social Work Practice for Promoting Health and Wellbeing: Critical Issues’ (Routledge, 2014) and ‘Social Policy for Social Work and Human Services in Aotearoa New Zealand:  Diverse Perspectives’ (Canterbury University Press, 2016) with Jane Maidment.. She has been a member of the Editorial Collective since 2015 and is a founding member of the Re-Imagining Social Work Collective.

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Jane Maidment is an associate professor in the Department of Human Services and Social Work at the University of Canterbury. She is a registered social worker and has teaching and research interests in the areas of field education, practice skill development, older persons and using craft as a vehicle for social connectedness. Jane has published extensively in national and international journals and has co-authored with Liz Beddoe ‘Mapping Knowledge for Social Work Practice: Critical Intersections’ ( Cengage, 2009) and ‘Social Policy for Social Work and Human Services in Aotearoa New Zealand:  Diverse Perspectives’ (Canterbury University Press, 2016).

Miriama Scott

E ngā wahine katoa nau mai, haere mai, whakatau mai.

Ko tēnei te wa i whakaoho ngā korero o ngā wahine i roto te kaupapa tauwhiro hapori.

Ko Ngāti Kahungunu raua ko Rangitāne ngā iwi

Ko Miriama Scott te ingoa.


Analosa Veukiso-Ulugia is a New Zealand-born Samoan and is a lecturer in the School of Counselling, Human Services and Social Work at The University of Auckland.  She has experience in community, health, social service and tertiary education settings having worked as a social worker at Child, Youth and Family and Counties Manukau District Health Board. Her research interests include Pacific health, adolescent development, community development and mental health.

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What’s your agenda? Reflective supervision in community-based child welfare services in Aotearoa

Matt Rankine

A new article by Matt Rankine reports on findings of a qualitative research project exploring supervision in non- statutory child welfare agencies in Aotearoa New Zealand.

Matt notes that the contracting environment  of community-based child welfare services (CCW) in the  managerialist climate of  Aotearoa New Zealand  necessitates constantly renegotiated contractual partnerships, service targeting and measured outcomes. Continue reading

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Harmful supervision

“Supervision is an important component of professional learning, growth, and development in the helping professions. It is at the heart of professional practice on a career-long basis for some professions and a significant element in education and internship for others. Regardless of how long it continues in a professional’s career, it is a practice that is expected to model effective relationship building, the sensitive giving and receiving of feedback, and the careful management of power and difference” (Beddoe, 2017, 88). Continue reading

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Decision –making variability in child welfare project: A research update

Emily Keddell and Ian Hyslop 

Decision making in child protection practice is a complex process which can have significant implications for children and families in Aotearoa NZ. Emily Keddell and Ian Hyslop are currently engaged in a small mixed methods exploratory study into understanding what causes decision variability – that is, differences in decisions when the child and family circumstances are similar. (see earlier post here).

Emily and Ian are also interested in decision quality, and are exploring practitioner perceptions of what this might look like. The research design takes a decision ecology approach which considers the personal, technical or procedural process of decision making within a wider context of organizational drivers and macro/structural influences (Baumann, Dalgleish, Fluke, & Kern, 2011). Continue reading

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Questioning the uncritical acceptance of neuroscience in child and family policy and practice: A review of challenges to the current doxa

In January I asked  in my post on RSW Blog  ‘Brains, biology and tests for future burdenhood

Who hasn’t seen the brains?

The luridly coloured images of two children’s brains, side by side. Presented as cast iron evidence of the impact of child neglect.  I remember exactly where I was when I first saw that image. The venue was a lecture theatre at my university (at least 10 years ago) and the presenter was a professional I knew and (still do) held in high regard. The emotional impact of seeing the two brains was considerable- the ‘normal’ brain of a child of a particular age contrasted with the apparently shrunken brain of a child who had suffered abuse and neglect.

And  the brains were to reappear with alarming regularity….. I heard a while ago that there are still social workers handing around pictures of those brains., presumably to frighten struggling parents.  Perhaps they still adorn the staff room walls in early childhood centres. Continue reading

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To post or not to post? Perceptions of the use of a closed Facebook group as a networked public space


Writing on the wall-  a safe place for debate?

Neil Ballantyne, Simon Lowe, Liz Beddoe 

The expansion of social media is associated with rapid growth in digital spaces for civic engagement and deliberative democratic discussion.  Yet while these networked public spaces offer many possibilities for engagement and interaction, the technology also shapes social dynamics, raising questions about managing professional relationships and boundaries online.  The development of a closed Facebook for social workers in New Zealand provided an opportunity to explore their perceptions on the use of a shared social media space for information sharing, professional deliberation and debate about public issues: our findings highlight perceived benefits and pitfalls. Continue reading

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Engaging the social work profession in the transnational professional space.

Crossing Borders : Migrant Professionals

Allen Bartley, Liz Beddoe and Shajimon Peter


This study is an Aotearoa New Zealand-wide participatory action research project involving all the significant stakeholders in the social work profession to develop an agreed-upon set of standards and expectations of context-specific professional and socio-cultural transitioning programmes for overseas-qualified social workers in New Zealand. This is the latest phase in our “Crossing Borders- Migrant Professionals study”. Our publications are listed here.

This project builds on growing national and international evidence that the increasing transnationalism of the social work profession has not been matched by a readiness of the profession’s key stakeholders to prepare adequately for the challenges of an increasingly transnational workforce.

The stakeholders involved in the project will include the professional bodies: ANZASW, the SWRB, the Tangata Whenua Social Workers Assocation, Tangata Whenua Voices, and also social work employers, specialist employment agencies and the Council for Social Work Education Aotearoa…

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Supervision in social work in Aotearoa New Zealand: Challenges in changing contexts

Liz Beddoe 

The major supervision journal The Clinical Supervisor has just started a new series, which will run over several years: Global developments in clinical supervision, see here for the Call for Papers.

The series, “Global Developments in Clinical Supervision,” will provide the opportunity to systematically document the current professional status of clinical supervision, as well as ongoing efforts to enhance the specialty, in a range of professions/disciplines around the world.

It is hoped the series will allow clinical supervision advocates an opportunity to share their work and learn from each others’ efforts; will encourage networking among practitioners, educators, supervisors-in-training, and researchers across disciplines and countries; and will stimulate research needed to further advance the specialty. As an ongoing series, these publications may serve as “baseline data” for future comparisons as well as a chronicle of the evolution of clinical supervision.

Continue reading

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Solidarity and support: Feminist memory work focus groups with working-class women studying social science degrees in Australia.

Dee Michell, Liz Beddoe, Heather Fraser and Michele Jarldorn 

We have just published a  new article reporting on our use of a two-phase, feminist memory work  study in a project conducted with 11 women, social science students at an Australian university. We begin by describing government-led attempts to widen participation in Australian universities because 10 of the 11 women who participated in our project were from non-traditional backgrounds. Continue reading

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Understanding decision-making variability in child welfare – a current research project

Emily Keddell and Ian Hyslop 

Decision-making across the spectrum of child welfare services is to say the least, complicated. Studies time and again find that decisions to refer to statutory services, to accept notifications, to substantiate them, and to proceed to formal care proceedings, can have significant outcome variations, even if the family circumstances or level of harm are fairly similar. While no two families are exactly the same, the levels of variation can be significant. This is a problem, as children’s right to protection, and family rights to retain children in their care, should both be enforced at a consistent level or threshold. Continue reading

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