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Shayna Dean

Care and Protection Social Worker, Child, Youth & Family
Bachelor of Social Work


“I trusted the tutors and because of this I was able to trust the process… Without reservation I would say Wintec provided me with the skills I needed to work in the field.”

Shayna Dean didn’t always want to be a social worker, but got to the stage where she felt she had to do something for herself. That something was to get a degree. “To be honest I was interested in being a social worker without really knowing what social work was and for various reasons didn’t look at it seriously. I had no experience in the field… applying for the Bachelor of Social Work was very much a case of eeny meeny miny mo but it’s one I don’t regret.”

“My time as a student studying social work was one of the most transformational periods of my life. I trusted the tutors and because of this I was able to trust the process, and came out better off. Without reservation I would say Wintec provided me with the skills I needed to work in the field. Even now I often reflect on what my tutors did and said to help facilitated my learning and development.”

Since graduating, she has gone on to work for Child, Youth and Family as a Care and Protection Social Worker. “I work with a team to assess allegations of child abuse and, where needed, work with whānau, professional and communities to implement intervention plans to minimise further harm occurring. I am allocated to a rural area so my role also involves a lot of travelling and getting to know the communities. No day is the same.”

While she enjoys the diversity of her job, “there is an element of hard every day and some days are definitely harder; there is no black and white in care and protection, just a whole lot of grey areas. But talking with children is awesome. And seeing them smile when they see you is awesome. Seeing people pull together in difficult times is awesome. Helping whānau navigate through dark times is awesome. Being trusted by whānau is awesome. And being supported by colleagues is awesome.”

Shayna’s goal for the future is simple – to develop more skill and experience in working with children, youth and whānau. “I feel I’m still very new to social work and still have a lot to learn so I’m very much at an exploration stage. I have a growing interest in clinical supervision so I am considering ongoing study through Wintec next year.”