Meet Eloise, Iosis Social Worker

Posted on June 26, 2020 by Iosis

Eloise joined Iosis in 2019 as a Social Worker and is based at St Anne’s Catholic School, located next door to Iosis on Russell Road. She previously worked for Family Works, part of Presbyterian Support Northern.

Eloise was inspired to become a Social Worker as a result of her own experience as a teenager. “I went to see the Social Worker when I was in high school and she was amazing. She was so helpful and had such a positive impact on me.” When Eloise left school, she took a gap year and went with her parents to Bangladesh. Her father was involved with the leprosy mission there, and she travelled with them around Bangladesh collecting stories through over 50 interviews. “It was an incredible experience and opportunity to hear people’s stories and how they had overcome leprosy. Dad’s role was to capture the stories and I would take the photos to go with it. We made a great team.”

“Because the language was a barrier, it taught me the importance of non-verbal communication which has held me in good stead with my work now,” she says. “Utilising games and interactive activities with children is a really positive and powerful way of engaging with them.” After her gap year, Eloise attended the University of Auckland and completed her Bachelor of Social Work.

“I have always loved kids and I love what I do. My days vary a lot – engaging with and getting to know the children is so important so that they see me as being accessible and approachable rather than someone
sitting in an office. I spend time in their classrooms and at morning tea and lunchtime, I often go to the playground and play games.”

The Social Work in Schools role fits into three key areas. First is the information and advice – anyone needing some brief support or a referral for more adequate support. Second is her one-on-one work with individual children. Family and teachers are involved in this to ensure everyone is on the same page. Together we set goals and form a plan. Last, but certainly not least is running programmes herself or through another provider. “Based on the needs of the children in the school, I’ll bring different children together for targeted sessions.”

“I’ve found in my work that giving people time and a listening ear can really help – when someone feels heard, they feel valued and that in itself can make a big difference. The more we are aware of something, the more we can do to work through it.”

“It’s a joy to hear the stories of the children and families at St Anne’s and to work with them. I see the children here making such positive steps – it’s a privilege.”

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