“Covering the Country”: After Hour’s Emergency Child Protection Social Work Services

By Sue Hanna.

Published by The Social Sciences Collection

Format Price
Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

Literatures searches reveal little about the critical work of social workers who provide after hours emergency services with often reduced access to human and physical resources. The National Contact Centre (NCC), a call centre, is one such organisation and is the entry to Child Youth and Family (New Zealand’s statutory child protection social work agency). The after hour’s emergency service functions weekdays between the hours of 5pm -8am and provides a reduced social work service that responds to child protection emergencies, and /or police matters involving children and young people up to the age of 17.
Findings from a recent qualitative research project conducted with social workers at the NCC reveals the challenges of the work undertaken by those on duty between 5pm -8am shares characteristics in common with work conducted by police and medical emergency control centres.
Based on the results of the project this paper will showcase the unique emotional and physical demands, skills sets and team dynamics involved in providing after hours child protection services from a call centre.

Keywords: Crisis Emergency Work, Shift Work, Technology, Social Work Services, Child Protection Services

International Journal of Interdisciplinary Social Sciences, Volume 5, Issue 12, pp.103-114. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 875.157KB).

Dr. Sue Hanna

Lecturer, Social Work Division, School of Health Sciences and Social Care, Brunel University, London, UK

Sue’s professional background is in Health Social Work and Statutory Child protection. She is registered with the GSSC and has worked in Social Work education for fifteen years. Her teaching back ground is in practice skills. social work theories, management in social services, and health social work practice. Her areas of teaching specialism have been child protection practice and family violence.


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