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WISE UP Conference 2016

Guest blog by Tania Beekmans, Anglican Trust for Women and Children 

The WISE UP (Workers in Schools Educate and Unlock Potential) conference is an annual event, each  year alternating between National and Regional conferences. This year’s regional conference attracted 165 delegates from the Far North to the Waikato. Delegates from Whakatane and Rotorua also attended. The venue was the Vodafone Events Centre in Manukau.

The WISE UP committee of 10 representatives came from five agencies that collaborated to organise the conference. These agencies were Anglican Trust for Women and Children, Family Works, Strive, ME Family Services, and Iosis.

The theme was ‘The Changing Landscape of Social Work’, and we were fortunate to have Le Va present on its suicide prevention programme – FLO: Pasifika for Life – with the sub-theme of care and protection in a learning environment.

Suicide prevention is a topic that SWiS (Social Workers in Schools) and youth workers confront every day in their roles, and it is a topic that workers always want to learn more about. Having this workshop come from a Pasifika perspective, building strong resilient Pasifika families and communities, while talking about a subject that is often not talked about made this a very popular workshop choice.

Meeting the mark 

Our team used a ‘dartboard’ evaluation tool, where delegates put stickers in four quadrants to show whether the workshop exceeded their expectations, met their expectations or missed the mark.

The  evaluation of Le Va’s presentation showed that 74 per cent felt their expectations were exceeded for the section ‘served my purpose in attending’; 92 per cent felt their expectations were exceeded with the ‘quality of speaker’; 69 per cent felt their expectations were exceeded with learning new things and 68 per cent had exceeded expectations for questions answered.

Over all presentations, the results of exceeded expectations were between 68 and 73 per cent, and we were very pleased with these outcomes.

We have conducted a survey and the evaluations are promising for us to be able to proceed next year with a National conference. Feedback about the Le Va workshop has been very positive and we are sure that this is a topic that will continue to be very important to discuss in future conferences. 

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Covid-19 Update

Face-to-face workshops will not continue while New Zealand is at Level 4. We will be in contact with all participants soon.