Social Workers in Schools Impact Evaluation

This study was a preliminary investigation of the impact of the government-funded Social Workers in Schools service (SWiS) which is available in selected New Zealand primary and intermediate schools. The investigation used the Integrated Child Dataset(ICD)-linked data that foreshadowed the child-level data linkages now available through the Statistics New Zealand Integrated Data Infrastructure(IDI). Researchers identified positive effects for some student groups from the SWiS programme. This research was supported by funding from the Ministry of Social Development (MSD) and in-kind contributions from Auckland University of Technology (AUT) and MSD.

Publications

Jiang, N., Maloney, T., Staneva, A., Wilson, M., & Vaithianathan, R. (2018). The impact of Social Workers in Schools: A preliminary investigation using linked administrative data.

This paper co-authored by Rhema Vaithianathan and Tim Maloney (CSDA co-director 2016-2019) reports on a preliminary investigation of the impact of the government-funded Social Workers in Schools service (SWiS) which is available in selected primary and intermediate schools. The aim of SWiS is to see safe, healthy and socialised children with a strong sense of identity, who are fully engaged in school. This analysis compares outcomes for children who attended SWiS schools with similar children who attended similar schools that at the time were not part of the SWiS programme. The study finds evidence of a reduction in non-enrolment days, a 5% increase for girls attaining NCEA level 1 by their 16th birthday, and a reduction in CYF youth justice referrals for the first three years of high school.

Quick facts

Location: New Zealand

Partner/s: Ministry of Social Development (NZ)

Timeframe: 2016-2018