How we can help

Social Work & Community Support

“I have been a lot more ‘real’ with people and keeping house better. I’m also keeping myself more healthy.”

Social Work & Community Support

“I’m more settled & more decisive. I’ve started to build confidence but still be humble. I’ve started to use skills that my social worker helped me with.”

We can support you and your family by:

  • Helping you to parent your children by developing specific strategies to bring the best out of your children
  • Helping you understand the requirements of a government agency such as work and income, housing new Zealand or Oranga Tamriki
  • Help you find ways to manage your money and get support with your budget, getting a food parcel or access the community electricity fund.
  • Help with your housing – finding a new place or staying in the house you are in, especially if there has been a notice issued to you
  • It may mean exploring about how you can change your own negative patterns of behaviour
  • It may mean supporting you to find other help in the community
  • Providing emotional support to explore constructive ways of coping with stressful situations
  • Providing this support by visiting you at home or hosting you in our office

    What you can expect

    “Since I’ve enrolled with Social Work, I’m doing less reactive parenting, and started being more in the moment with my child. I learnt to think on their level.”

    1. A call

    To be called by one of our social work team who will talk to you about what you need and hope to achieve with our help. They will also ask you some questions about you that form part of our confidential record to help us understand you and your needs and to help us in raising funds to pay for this service. You are welcome to check that we have your details correct.

    2. Set an appointment

    The social worker will then offer you an appointment, how soon that will be will depend upon how busy we are at the time. We are able to meet you in our office or sometimes if it is more appropriate, to meet you at home or another location. They will also talk to you about how much you might be able to contribute to the cost of this service. No one is turned away if they cannot pay.


    3. Intake

    When you have an appointment, you will be met by our staff who will let you know a little about themselves and how they work. They will explain about our policy of confidentiality, paramountcy and clarify the sort of work they will cover with you. You will then be asked to sign a consent form.


    4. Six Sessions

    The Social worker will clarify your goals for living life well and together you will make a plan to go forward. To help you with this, they may ask you some wide ranging questions. Initially we will offer you six sessions of support but can renegotiate with you if you feel you need any more. Some people find they only need a couple of sessions to help them get back on the path. Whatever works for you, just let your social worker know.

    5. Records

    When we work with you we will take some notes and record this on our secure and confidential client management system provided by Paua Software. This is to help us record what we have done and to help us in helping you.

    6. Evaluation

    At the end of working with us, we will ask you to fill in an evaluation form to help both you and us clarify what helped.

    Some of our specific help in the community includes

    Community Lunch – South Dunedin 42 Macandrew Road

    Every Monday during school terms at 12 noon – join us for a fabulous lunch cooked from rescued food by the crew. Get involved in the conversation and learn from a range of people that share ideas, and community information that you need to know. You may also get involved as a member of the cooking group and learn some further culinary skills to use at home.

    Sustaining Tenancies - Holding on to Your Place

    If there are problems with your tenancy and it is possible that you may be asked to leave, get in touch with us as we may be able to help. We can support you in getting the place tidied, and provide help to manage your budget or negotiate other things which might get in the way of holding on to your place. Also, if you are a landlord and you are aware your tenant may need some extra support, contact us and we can talk about what help we may be able to provide to help them live life well.

    Finding a Place to Live

    Housing is tricky at the moment and we may be able to support you find a place. Also if you are a landlord, why not contact us if you have a vacancy and we may be able to support someone to enjoy your property and do some good for our community

    Practical Community Support

    One of our team might be able to help you with access to the Community Electricity fund, rescued food, advocating with MSD regarding your benefit entitlements, and  other practical support.

    Get in touch


    Central Otago:
    Alexandra Community House
    14/20 Centennial Ave
    Alexandra 9320

    42 Macandrew Road
    P O Box 2047
    South Dunedin 9044


    0800 CSSNOW or 0800277669

    Dunedin:              Central Otago: 
    (03) 455 3838        (03) 4485385

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    Office hours

    Monday 9.00am - 5.00pm
    Tuesday 9.00am - 5.00pm
    Wednesday 10.30am - 5.00pm
    Thursday 9.00am - 5.00pm
    Friday 9.00am - 5.00pm
    Saturday & Sunday closed

    Find us at 42 Macandrew Road, right across the car park from the South Dunedin Catholic Church (see photos below). Plenty of space inside and outside for spending time with your kids.