Children are top priority
Today marks National Social Worker Day and for Tokoroa-based care and protection social worker Angela Evans-McLeod, her main priority is ensuring children are safe and happy.
For five years, Angela Evans-McLeod, from Matamata, has been a care and protection social worker for Child, Youth and Family.
‘‘The welfare of children is the care and protection of children,’’ Ms Evans-McLeod said.
‘‘So we investigate the claims that come in and notifications made, and the notification also depends on what happens after that.
‘‘Initially I was a caregiver and I used to deal with at-risk children.’’
She decided to work on the other side of caring and opted to be a social worker.
The 47-year-old mother of four said her job can be challenging.
‘‘ Some of the families can be challenging because sometimes you are dealing with generations whether it be of domestic violence, sexual abuse, alcohol issues, so to make life better for the children you have to work with the parents. Some parents are resistant to change.’’
She said working in a multi-cultural area sees her dealing with a variety of people.
‘‘I think one highlight will be where a grandmother who had her granddaughter in care for quite a few years and didn’t have that faith in herself that she couldn’t do this without our help because she had become so ingrained in the department that she lost her faith in her parenting role.’’
Ms Evans-McLeod said after some encouragement, the girl and her grandmother have both blossomed.
HELPING HAND: Tokoroa social worker Angela EvansMcLeod is a care and protection social worker for Child, Youth and Family.