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.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
This project was supported by a grant from the Massey University Research Fund .
- Social work
- Disaster management
- New Zealand