Teaching life skills – helping school students cope with school life.

For many children, the start of the school year can be an anxious time, with new teachers, new friends, new subjects, new uniforms – and of course, extra financial obligations on parents, which also places additional pressure on the children.

Fortunately, the students of 15 low-decile primary and high schools in South Auckland have an extra level of support on hand through our Social Workers in Schools (SWiS) programme. While our SWiS work for Iosis, they’re based at the school so they can provide students with access to support during the school week and in some cases, throughout their school years. 

Cecelia, a social worker with Iosis has been at St Anne’s Catholic School in Manurewa for nearly two years. “Being part of the Iosis team really helps. It means I’ve got access to a wraparound support system should the children or their whānau need more specialised services,” she says. 

If children are affected by challenges their parents face at home, the Iosis connection means support can also be provided to the parents. Often parents engage with Iosis’s practical parenting programmes and services such as counselling, while Cecelia works alongside the child.

Cecelia believes a real strength of the SWiS system is the long-term support they’re able to provide students throughout their school years. 

“Like all of us, children have their ups and downs. A child, after receiving support, might go on to flourish for a period of time but then have a hiccup, or they might come across something they’re not sure how to handle. It’s reassuring for them to know we’re on
the spot when they need us,” she says.

Sifa is a Social Worker at Manurewa High School supporting students throughout their high school years.

“I love my job and while it can be challenging, every time I help a student, I’m reminded why I enjoy it so much,” says Sifa. 

He says that more and more students are struggling today. “So many of them are coming to school today without having their basic needs met. On top of this, they’re dealing with complex social issues, for example social media,” says Sifa.  “When I went to school, if you’d had a rough day, you could try and put it behind you. Today, if a student is being bullied, teased, or mocked it’s much harder for them to escape it. Two years on from Covid, we still have kids who are too anxious to get out of the car.”

Sifa says he is lucky to work at a school that prioritises the wellbeing of students. Manurewa High School provides a breakfast and lunch club, as well as a uniform fund, plus the library is open before and after school so students can complete their homework at school. “All of these things add up to make a difference and in supporting students to attend school and ensure they’re capable of learning” says Sifa.

‘Who can help me?’ booklet for schoolchildren – a unique way to support your local schools.  

We’re seeking sponsors from our community to support the publication of the SWiS booklet ‘Who can help me?’ With many children struggling with issues at home and at school, this invaluable book will help them learn that they can turn to our social workers for help if they need it.  

Ways you can give…

$3,500 gives you exclusive sponsorship, including acknowledgement on the front cover, logo and paragraph on the inside back cover

$1,000 makes you a primary sponsor – includes logo and a sentence acknowledging your generous support (limited to one)

$500 makes you a secondary sponsor – includes logo on the back page (limited to 3)

$200 makes you a tertiary sponsor – includes logo on the back page (limited to 5)

Please support us – so that we can better support local school children. 

If you can sponsor this important cause, please email Mel at supporters@iosis.org.nz