Engaging social workers in disaster management: Case studies from New Zealand

Kathryn Hay, Katheryn Pascoe

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)
58 Downloads (Pure)


Social workers in New Zealand are well-positioned to work in disaster management and respond to the complexities that arise from human-made and natural disasters. Their professional roles within communities, often working with the most vulnerable members of society, mean they can effectively connect with people affected by disaster as well as those organisations engaged in disaster management. Disaster management professionals' understanding of the extent of a social worker's role is, however, limited. Using a case study approach, this article showcases the experiences of two registered social workers following the Kaikōura earthquake in New Zealand in 2016. The intention of the case studies is to highlight different aspects of social work practice post-disaster and draw attention to the importance of including social workers in all four phases of disaster management. Strengthening the relationship, both locally and nationally, between the social work professional association and key disaster management organisations such as civil defence is recommended.
Original languageEnglish
Article number102941
Pages (from-to)1 - 17
Number of pages17
JournalInternational Journal of Disaster Risk Reduction
Early online date1 Apr 2022
Publication statusPublished (in print/issue) - 31 May 2022

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This project was supported by a grant from the Massey University Research Fund .

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022


  • Social work
  • Disaster management
  • Earthquake
  • New Zealand
  • Disaster
  • Community
  • Systems


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