Corona Virus / Covid-19 Updates

Join us on FaceBook– now more than ever it is important to be connected

IFSW Covid-19 Research Results>>

COVID-19 is changing everything about life and work as we know it. We at ANZASW are  focused on how best to continue our work whilst supporting our families and members in the face of this unfolding crisis.

Our thoughts are with you, your whānau and all those who are affected.

As social workers, we understand the ongoing need to take care of ourselves and each other as we approach our work.

This may include:

  • Reflective self-care; keeping healthy and well-rested.
  • Staying actively connected with colleagues and support systems.
  • Creating more opportunities for discussion and support among ourselves.
  • Continuing our variety of engagements in social action and social justice work

If you need support during this difficult time please contact your social worker, youth mentor or whānau coordinator. If you require financial mentoring, counselling support or advocacy please see the Contact Numbers on the Public tab on this page.

Please look on the “For the public” tab for further information to support your clients.

Ministry of Health Policy: Students completing training placements during COVID-19 Alert Levels 1 - 4

This policy applies to students from all health professions who are completing training placements in any setting (ie DHB or non-DHB) while nation-wide or regional COVID-19 Alert Level restrictions are operating.

Current restrictions impacting health and disability services can be viewed here:

Placement includes any placement in a setting where healthcare or related services are provided to patients or the public.

Student includes all students who have not completed all requirements for professional qualification and – only if applicable – registration as a health practitioner under the Health Practitioners Competence Assurance Act 2003.

Policy statement

  1. Although the importance of academic progression, economic consequences, and impacts on the health workforce pipeline should all be considered, the first priority guiding placement decisions is that all reasonable efforts must be made to ensure that students and patients are kept safe.
    2. Students undertaking a placement as part of completing their academic programme may start or continue in that placement only in accordance with any current Alert Level restrictions and/or conditions that apply to the setting where the student is placed. It is for the training institution and the placement provider to ensure that each student’s placement(s) meet this requirement at all times.
    3. Students must inform their supervisor(s) and supervisors must ask students about employment, placement, or any attendance at other settings where COVID-19 Alert Level restrictions are operating. Movement between health or disability settings should only occur if carefully managed and where approved by the relevant organisation(s).
    4. All students on placements must have appropriate supervision (as determined by the training institution and placement provider) to help mitigate the enhanced risks inherent in working in the COVID-19 environment. It should be noted that supervisors must prioritise providing services to patients over providing supervision. This may require that the student(s) involved cease working with patients until appropriate supervision can be resumed, and should be clearly communicated by the supervisor to the student(s).
    5. Students may decide that they do not want to practise during this time and should not be penalised for that decision. Students should realise, however, that an extended absence from their training programme may delay completion of their training.

This policy will be reviewed and revised as and when necessary.

In order to minimise the spread of COVID-19, serious restrictions on workers and workplaces may be put in place. Some health and disability services will, however, be expected to remain up and running. Employers must continue to meet their health and safety obligations in these circumstances.

These same restrictions and responsibilities apply to students and to those who are responsible for them.

The Ministry recognises and acknowledges that other organisations also have authority and responsibilities in regard to students;

  • Training institutions have the ultimate responsibility for their students’ welfare.
  • Placement providers determine whether or not they continue to provide placements to students.
  • Responsible authorities make decisions regarding accreditation of training programmes, registration (where required), and practising status (including conditions on scopes of practice).

Placements can therefore be altered or discontinued (directly or indirectly) by these other organisations, even where a student’s placement is in a service that continues to operate.

Version: 18/09/20


  A discussion about guarding mental health during the COVID-19 pandemic.

pdficon_small   Covid-19 Information for Caregivers

pdficon_small  Guidance for the rehabilitation of people with or recovering from Covid-19 in Aotearoa New Zealand

pdficon_small  Kōtātā Insight The impact of multiple disadvantage on subjective wellbeing: New Zealand Families

pdficon_small  Protecting & Promoting Mental Wellbeing

pdficon_small  Short Report: Social Isolation & Wellbeing

pdficon_small  He Oranga Hou: Social Cohesion in a Post Covid World

pdficon_small   MoH Covid-19 Level 2 Advice for Health Professionals

pdficon_small   ANZASW Resources for Social Workers (Covid-19 – Resources for Social Workers supporting the Resilience & Strength of our Communities)

pdficon_small   Aotearoa NZ Health Social Work Scope of Practice

pdficon_small   ANZASW e-Social Work Guidelines

The Code of Ethics and the Code of Conduct continue to inform practice in a digital environment.

Also refer General Tab: Where to get advice from

This article is about setting up online counselling, but has tips and information which are relevant to social workers who are interacting with clients on-line: Read More>>

COVID-19 List of OT & MSD Essential Social Services

PPE-DHB Contacts for Providers

Guidelines: Social Media & Electronic Communications (NCNZ)

Best Practice Guide for Telehealth (Allied Health)

Risk Assessment for Family Harm in Relation to Covid-19

Supporting Children & Young People with worries about Covid-19 (NIHR)

Supporting Individuals with Autism through Uncertain Times (UNC Frank Porter Graham Child Development Institute Autism Team)

Living with Worry & Anxiety amidst a Global Uncertainty (Psychology Tools)

When no funerals/tangi or gatherings can be held (FDANZ)

Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) guidance for NGO Community Workers

Te Pou o te Whakaaro Nui has put together a guide for using personal protective equipment (PPE), created specifically to help those working in NGOs in the areas of mental health, addiction and disability. The guide is available in various useful formats, including PDF, image and an accessible Word format.

ANZASW Advice to Members during Covid-19 crisis

Any social worker working as part of an essential service and/or who is working from home must continue to work to provide safe, competent professional services based on the requirements of both the ANZASW Code of Ethics & Practice Standards and the SWRB Code of Conduct & Core Competencies. These documents underpin professional social work practice.

Working from home presents particular challenges. Social workers who are working from home must make every effort to protect the privacy and confidentiality of the people accessing social work services.

Professional reflective supervision becomes all the more important when working in challenging times. Both professionals and the people they work with are facing multiple stressors and change. Social workers may be working in fields that they are not fully familiar with, at the edges of their scope. It is expected that regular supervision will continue, albeit that it may be by phone or video call. Social workers are also encouraged to actively seek additional supervision between regular sessions as needed. The Code of Ethics has the requirement that “We commit to professional supervision to ensure that our practice is both ethical and safe, to enhance our professional development and maintain personal well-being”.

We advise social workers to ensure that any written or electronic record they make notes that the intervention occurred during the Covid-19 lockdown.

In the Covid-19 environment many of you will be using one or more of the many forms of social media to engage with the people you are working with. Both the ANZASW Code of Ethics and the SWRB Code of Conduct provide guidance on the professional use of digital technology and social media.

Social media are internet technologies that allow people to connect, communicate and interact in real time to share and exchange information. This includes Facebook, blogs, Twitter, email groups and instant messaging, and encompasses text, photographs, images, video or audio files. (1)

Electronic communication includes email and text messaging by cell-phone and now regularly includes video conferencing with individuals, families.

Sections of the Code of Ethics relevant to the use of social media
SOCIAL WORKERS recognise and support the mana of others. We act towards others with respect, kindness and compassion. We practice empathic solidarity, ensure safe space, acknowledge boundaries and meet obligations.

  • We maintain accurate records and share these with persons with whom we work, subject to preserving the privacy of others in those records;
  • We commit to obtaining the necessary knowledge and skills for the proper and respectful use of digital technology and social media, recognising that lack of understanding and careless use may pose threats to a range of our ethical obligations;

SOCIAL WORKERS attend to the wellbeing – spiritual, emotional, psychological and physical – of self and others. We acknowledge the significance of whakapapa, self-awareness and self-care.

  • We relate to colleagues with integrity, respect, courtesy, openness and honesty, addressing any differences of opinion or practice in a responsible manner.

Access the full ANZASW Code of Ethics at

Sections of the Code of Conduct relevant to the use of social media include:
10.7 act in accordance with the ANZASW Code of Ethics, this Code, and any other relevant
regulations, policies, or laws when providing any service by electronic means, including the telephone
10.8 follow the standards that would be applied in a face-to-face supervisory relationship
when using or providing supervision by technological means.
10.4 take special care to protect client privacy and client information when using technology
and/or electronic records
10.5 be proficient in the skills required to use any technology when providing social work
services and to seek appropriate training to stay current with emerging technologies to ensure competent and safe practice
10.6 be aware of the dynamics, advantages, and limitations of technology-based interactions and the ways in which technology-based social work practice can be safely and appropriately conducted – it’s your responsibility to:

  • manage any associated risks when using technology – consider the destiny of data and be aware that all posts on social networking sites are public and permanent
  • set and maintain clear and appropriate personal and professional boundaries in all forms of communication, including face-to-face contact, written, telephone, and online communications

10.7 act in accordance with the ANZASW Code of Ethics, this Code, and any other relevant regulations, policies, or laws when providing any service by electronic means, including the telephone
10.8 follow the standards that would be applied in a face-to-face supervisory relationship when using or providing supervision by technological means.

Respect the client’s privacy & confidentiality
7.2 treat information gained in the course of the social worker/client relationship as
confidential information and use it for professional purposes only
7.7 maintain client confidentiality and privacy by not referring to any client or client-practice issue in public places including in social media, as even if identifying data such as names or place of residence are not included, the client may still be recognisable.

Work openly & respectfully with colleagues:
8.7 not discuss colleagues in public places or on social media

Protect the rights and promote the interest of clients:
5.8 maintain personal and professional boundaries and not form inappropriate relationships with clients or those close to them

Maintain public trust and confidence in the social work profession:
9.1 maintain a high standard of professional and personal behaviour – avoid activities, work, or non-work that may in any way bring the social work profession into disrepute; the same standards of conduct are expected when using social media and electronic forms of communication

SWRB encourages social workers to use their professional judgement to assess the risk to deliver safe care informed by the values and principles set out in the Code of Conduct.
The key principles which should be followed include:

  • the need to work cooperatively with colleagues to keep people safe,
  • to practise in line with the best available evidence, and
  • to recognise and work within the limits of your competence.

We recognise that in highly challenging circumstances, social workers may need to depart from established procedures in order to care for clients. If concerns are raised about professional decisions and actions it will always be considered, taking into account the factors relevant at the time.


I’m an essential worker – what do I need to do to keep safe?

Workers need to take reasonable care of their own health and safety, and the health and safety of others, while working. This means following and cooperating with any reasonable health and safety instructions, policies and procedures that you are given, to stay safe and to make sure you do not risk the health and safety of others that you come in contact with through your work. Work with your employer to help develop any new ways of working that are needed to keep you and others safe.



(1) Guidelines. Social Media and Electronic Communication New Zealand Nursing Council 2012

Feeling Anxious/Stressed?

Focus on mental health to cope with Covid-19 stressors

7 science-based strategies to cope with coronavirus anxiety

EAP services is still running 24/7 for phone based counselling.  This might be helpful for Social Workers who are working from home.  Their number is: 0800 327 669.

It also might be helpful for clients whose workplaces are members of the scheme.

Helpline & Resources

– If it is an emergency or you, or someone you know, is at immediate risk call 111

FACEBOOK GROUP PAGE (helpful Facebook page for parents & kids during isolation):

Work and Income services centres are closed, however you can apply for assistance via MyMSD or phone the contact centre on 0800 559 009.



– Healthline (0800) 611 116



– Oranga Tamariki Call Centre 0508FAMILY
– Anxiety New Zealand – 0800 269 4389
– Alcoholics Anonymous 0800 229 6757
– Alcohol & Drug Helpline 0800 787 797
– Aviva (Family Violence Services). 0800 284 82 669
– Asian Helpline – 0800 862 342
– Narcotics Anonymous 0800 628 632
– CADS (Community Alcohol and Drug Services) (09) 845 1818
– Child, Adolescent & Family (CAF) Emergency Team (Bus hours) 0800 218 219 (press 2)
– Crisis Resolution, Freephone 0800 920 092, (After hours), 7 days a week.
– Lifeline – 0800 543 354 or free text 4357
– (Help with anxiety and low mood)
– Safe to Talk (If affected by sexual harm) 0800044334; Txt 4334.
– SHINE – making homes violence free 0508 744 633
– Suicide Crisis Helpline – 0508 828 865 (0508 TAUTOKO)
– Youthline – 0800 376 633 or free text 234
– Depression Helpline – 0800 111 757 or free text 4202
– Samaritans – 0800 726 666
– Need to talk? Free call or text 1737 support from trained counsellor
– What’s Up – 0800 942 8787 (5-18 year olds). Phone counselling Monday to
Friday, midday-11pm and weekends, 3pm-11pm.
-Kidsline – 0800 54 37 54 for young people up to 18 years of age. Open 24/7.
– -or<> or free text 5626
– Womens Refuge 0800 REFUGE
– Outline (LGBTQIA*) 0800 688 5463
– Fairway Mediation Services 0800 77 44 20

– Explore NZ Autism Explore Behaviour Support.

OTHER USEFUL LINKS (some of the links are already listed above):

Mental Health – Helplines

Children’s Community Dental Service changes due to COVID-19 response.

Children’s Community Dental Service (Auckland Regional Dental Service (ARDS)) has announced that only essential dental care will be provided during the current stage of this pandemic. There are six ARDS essential dental care clinic location operating across the region for this purpose. All non-essential appointments have been postponed.

Details: For more information, see here>>


Translated resources and helpful websites:

  • New Zealand Police videos have been developed. YouTube page shares videos with information about COVID-19 alert level 4 in Mandarin, Niuean, Fijian Hindi, Fijian, Cook Islands Māori, Tongan, Korean, Samoan, te reo Māori, Kiribati, Punjabi, and Hindi, here>>
  • New Zealand Red Cross has translated the Ministry of Health’s Easy Read Resources about COVID-19 in 11 different languages, here>>
  • New Zealand Government launches WhatsApp channel to share COVID-19 updates, copy this link
  • Auckland Emergency Management website, here>>
  • Auckland Council to assist food distribution programme, here>>
  • NauMai NZ website to international students about COVID-19, here>>
  • Mental Health Foundation (MHF) has launched their All Right? campaign: Getting Through Together – Whāia E Tātou Te Pae Tawhiti, here>>
  • Ministry of Health’s website to find all updated health information about COVID-19, here>>
  • New Zealand Government’s Unite Against COVID-19, here>>, and subscribe to the e-newsletter, which provides a daily update on COVID-19 news, resources and frequently asked questions, here

How do I get an interpreter when I call Healthline?:

  • Healthline will provide an interpreter if you need language support.

Follow this process:

    1. Feeling unwell? Call Healthline 0800 358 5453
    2. Immediately say your language you need, for example ‘Korean’ and WAIT (it could take up to 5-10mins), DO NOT HANG UP!
    3. The Healthline staff have been briefed not to carry on talking in English to you if you have said the language you need first. You will be connected to an interpreter.
    4. You can tell the interpreter your health concerns as part of a three-way conversation with the Healthline staff.

Asian Family Services – free, professional and confidential psychological support to Asian communities.

Asian Family Services is a not for profit organisation whose qualified counsellors provide free, professional and confidential support for people who speak Cantonese, Mandarin, Korean, Vietnamese, Japanese, Thai and Hindi languages. If you wish to speak to a counsellor or if you are feeling distressed or anxious due to COVID-19 please call the Asian Helpline on

0800 862 342. The helpline is available from Monday to Friday 9am─8pm.

Note, this helpline telephone service is for psychological i.e counselling support and is different to the dedicated 0800 COVID-19 number for health-related concerns shared above.

Details: For more information, visit here>> or call Asian Helpline 0800 862 342.

Overseas Travel

Phishing & Scams

There are a number of scams in circulation inviting the reader to register to receive updates on the development of Covid-19 and offering a range of products & services. “Registration” involves disclosing a lot of personal information. The sites look like official sites like World Health Organisation or Ministry of Health. The scams take many forms including insurance policies, pension plans, fraudulent charities, bogus sanitisers, gels and tests.

How it works:

Scammers and attackers are using the public interest in COVD-19 to create the following opportunistic online scams.

  • Text message scams

Reports have been received of COVID-19 themed text messages that have a link that claims to direct people to testing facilities. This link is not legitimate and instead may install malicious software on your mobile device designed to steal your personal information.

  • Phishing emails claiming to have updated COVID-19 information

Individuals have been targeted by Coronavirus-themed emails, with infected attachments that may install malicious software on your computer.

  • Fake Coronavirus maps

Security researchers have identified a new campaign where the attackers claim to have a ‘coronavirus map’ application that people can download on their devices. Instead the application is malware, designed to steal personal information.

What to do:

All emails to date have indicated the importance of only using known reliable sources of information – see Where to get Advice From

Please be cautious and vigilant and be aware of what you click.