Available positions

Psychologist – Te Awa unit (Penrose, Auckland)

Commencing immediately or by negotiation.

Te Awa is an assessment hub working with children and young people with complex behavioural needs who are placed in care within the Auckland region. The hub provides a range of assessments as well as interventions using the wraparound model of practice.

We require a New Zealand registered psychologist who is able to provide comprehensive assessments of young peoples’ needs and work collaboratively with a range of stakeholders to design and implement intervention plans.

The preferred applicant will be able to demonstrate strong engagement skills with children and young people, family/whanau and stakeholders, analytical skills plus the ability to work efficiently.

Te Awa offers training in wraparound model of practice, excellent professional development, competitive remuneration and collegial team environment with work/life balance.

Experience of working with Maori and Pacific communities is an advantage.

Applicants must have a full current New Zealand driving licence.

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Te Awa unit

Te Awa unit is intended for children and young people who are placed in the care of Oranga Tamariki in the Auckland region and who have high needs at home, in school and in the community. The students are usually between school years 7 and 11. The unit is in the Penrose area.

The service

A team of NHS teachers, psychologists, facilitators, mentors and support staff work with the young people and can provide two types of service:

  • An assessment service that looks at identifying young people’s needs or at answering specific referral questions (function of behaviour, education assessment, therapeutic needs, summary report).

The assessment of the young person’s needs will determine whether these can be met locally, from existing services or whether additional intervention is required from Te Awa. If an additional intervention is not required, the Te Awa psychologist and deputy unit leader will share recommendations and information necessary for the young person’s social worker and/or care provider to arrange a successful transition. Te Awa’s involvement with the young person and their family/whanau will cease and the case will be closed.

  • An intensive wraparound service, which aims at supporting young people:
    • learn new skills and ways of behaving
    • develop a healthy sense of personal identity
    • engage successfully in education at a local school
    • develop the skills necessary for building prosocial peer relationships
    • enjoy a successful home life, including developing relationships with family/whanau and community

The wraparound process involves the young person, their family/whanau and their team. They meet regularly to agree goals and devise a collaborative plan that is implemented between meetings. Regular reviews take place monthly with goals reviewed and new needs prioritised, strategies discussed and action points agreed to by all participants. Once the plan’s goals have been met, the young person will be transitioned out of the service.

The service also runs a base classroom programme operating school terms and between the hours of 9am to 3pm daily. Up to six students work in the classroom area on individual learning programmes while education and individual assessments are undertaken to establish their needs. While they are taught strategies to manage themselves in other settings, not all young people receiving the service will physically attend the unit.

Referring a young person

At present, young people can be referred to Te Awa by Oranga Tamariki social workers, Reconnect and Youth Horizons Trust.

The Ministry of Education Te Kahu Tōī, Intensive Wraparound Service, can at times refer a young person to the Te Awa unit where the young person is in the custody of Oranga Tamariki and would be better suited to this service.

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