The Social Workers in Schools (SWiS) service, funded by the Ministry of Social Development (MSD) through Child Youth and Family (CYF), was established in 1999 in response to concerns raised by schools about the impact that social and family problems have on students and their ability to learn. Access to SWiS in decile 1 to 3 primary and intermediate schools has never been better, but how is SWiS working? The Ministry of Social Development (MSD) requires service providers (non-government organisations (NGOs) to report using a Results Based Accountability Framework (RBA).

This seminar presents the findings of an outcomes- focused evaluation, using RBA, of the delivery of SWiS by a large NGO to over 100 schools in the upper North Island. Both qualitative and quantitative data were collected through surveys of child clients, their parents/caregivers and school staff. Results show that parents and caregivers report that their children are more settled, happier at school, more engaged in their learning and have developed new strategies for dealing with challenging situations. School staff value the SWiS service because it allows them to concentrate on their primary responsibilities. It is also evident from the evaluation that SWiS helps to strengthen relationships between home and school.