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Thursday, December 5 • 10:30am - 12:30pm
BREAKOUT SESSION FIVE: Social Work

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Chair: Donna Baines

Ghodsi Izadi: New Zealand Children’s Participation In Policymaking to Alleviate Child Poverty

This study explores the extent to which children’s views are reflected in contemporary New Zealand policymaking processes focused on addressing child poverty. The current government is committed to centring children’s perspectives in policymaking efforts. Yet NZ and international research points to significant gaps between commitments to children’s participatory rights and realisation of these rights in practice, particularly for children from marginalised groups. To better understand this persistent slippage, this study analyses key policy documents related to the NZ Child Poverty Reduction Act (2018). The study methods include critical policy analysis and thematic analysis, informed interpretively by Policy Cycle Theory (Jann & Wegrich, 2007) and children’s participatory rights frameworks (Hanson, 2012). Emerging findings of the study illuminate three discourses that hinder children’s meaningful participation in policymaking processes: adult-driven power; vagueness; and lack of enforcement. The findings are relevant to efforts to enhance children’s meaningful, sustained participation in policy planning and implementation.


Gaylene Denford-Wood: A measure of wellbeing: New socio-poetic findings in social work settings

Social capital in the measurement of wellbeing ‘beyond GDP’ brings into focus key qualities of life. The Coalition Government’s (2019) Wellbeing Budget aims at tackling some of New Zealand’s long-term challenges, including mental health and wellbeing. What are the implications for education, health and social work? Renewal of morale in these sectors requires multi-faceted approaches. Schools have goals and wellbeing targets. Four elements are equally regarded: taha tinana (physical), taha hinengaro (mental and emotional), taha whanau (social), and taha wairua (spiritual), (Durie, 1994; Rix, 2017). To serve as positive role models, staff need to embody this hauora/wellbeing. One approach is to ameliorate stress by developing the capacity to live more positively in the present. Mindfulness is one evidence-based way. Connectedness, is key. A 2018 mindfulness study in an Australasian College of Education, Psychology and Social Work (Vice-Chancellor’s prize); using Heuristic Inquiry (N=6), found how connectedness (with self, others, environment etc.) can be readily accessed using a novel form of socio-poetic mindfulness. It supports the findings of traditional mindfulness researchers: To practise mindfulness means maintaining a moment-by-moment awareness of thoughts, feelings, bodily sensations and surrounding environment, nonjudgmentally. The state of the human body is a source of knowledge as it explores the cognitive strength of one’s senses, emotions, and gestures, along with imagination, intuition and reasoning. The strength of socio- poetics (dos Santos and Gauthier, 2013) is in its artistic creativity in learning, knowing, researching and providing human care. This presentation highlights new understanding of how experience can come from the use of poetry—that Bochner (2000) deems poetic social science—and outlines new social work applications.


Each presentation will be allocated 20 minutes. Additional time for questions and discussion will be available in each stream.

Presenters
avatar for Gaylene Denford-Wood

Gaylene Denford-Wood

Student, The Learning Connexion (TLC) School of Creativity and Art
I am developing creative ways to make my doctoral research in the workshops I run, more accessible, user-friendly and fun.
GI

Ghodsi Izadi

PhD student, Lecturer in Research Principles at NZSAO, Children's Book Author, The University of Auckland; The School of Acupuncture And Traditional Chinese Medicine
I am pursuing my full-time PhD programme at the Faculty of Education and Social Work in the University of Auckland. I am conducting my research in the field of Child Poverty and involving children (as active citizens) in the processes of policy-making around child poverty particularly... Read More →