Social Work and Advocacy

  • Social Change, Justice and Human Rights; are at the heart of WEFST.
  • Children safety & well-being is our priority;
  • We believe in Prevention, and Early Intervention, Providing the Right Support at the Right Time
  • We actively intervene to ensure the safety of children, youth and their families.
  • We provide support and advocacy for Ethnic Men.

We offer a specialized migrant refugee service providing advocacy and support that addresses the cultural and societal barriers that exist for many ethnic families attempting to integrate into new local communities.

Family harm and child protection form a significant part of our service. We advocate on their behalf and work alongside other agencies and services to ensure positive change can be achieved and that our ethnic families are socially connected.

We collaborate with government agencies, services and community organisations to bring the best course of action for each individual and family. Our approach is client centred and we are supporting the most vulnerable families and their children. Child protection and prevention of abuse is the highest priority for our specialised staff.

Our work also extends to advocating for ethnic Men needing support for domestic violence, gambling and alcohol addiction, employment issues and budgeting.

WEFST Waikato Ethnic Family Services Trust New Zealand social work and advocacy
WEFST Waikato Ethnic Family Services Trust New Zealand Social Workers 2

Moreover, we support temporary visa holders including work visas and student visas, and tourists who are affected by Covid 19 lock Down situation.

We connect them with employers and essential service providers, we navigate the system and provide various support for them and their families. We also provide ongoing free of charge updated immigration advice for them.

Since the Covid 19 crisis, we have registered with ‘Here to Help U’ and are providing 24/7 advocacy and support for all referrals. This is through translation/interpretation, advocacy and deploying additional volunteers to assist.

We are experiencing a significant increase in demand. The majority of the community does not speak English. and COVID-19 has created a lot of anxiety and misinformation in the community.

This has escalated the need to have proper interpreters and translators when accessing either critical social services OR the health care system.

We are working directly with ethnic families and individuals in Hamilton. We have adapted our service to meet the significant needs of refugees and migrants’ families during the current crisis.

Many of our clients are isolated and suffering hardship as a direct result of the pandemic. Our translation services are particularly required to ensure Covid 19 messaging is reaching everyone and is being understood.

This is a critical time for all social service providers. The Covid-19 pandemic has created a higher demand for our various online and face-to-face programs, advocacy and counselling services.

We work closely with DHB, Mental Health Crisis Team, age concern and Disability Support Services, Police, lawyers and other stakeholders to ensure the health and well-being of ethnic children and their families.

WEFST Waikato Ethnic Family Services Trust New Zealand social work and advocacy 2