Who we are
Who we are
CSS is the Social Services agency of the Catholic Diocese of Dunedin and as such provide a caring and supportive environment based on respect for all who seek our assistance.
Our key areas of specialty are:
- Strengthening relationships and families
- Helping kids feel loved and safe
- Inspiring parents with new ideas
- Exploring options to manage life’s challenges
- Helping your voice get heard
- Addressing the issues of trauma and emotional pain
- Connecting people with other people and the resources in our communities
Catholic Social Services will respond to families throughout Otago and Southland especially those most in need, by utilizing the resources of parish communities and professional services to provide empowering and healing care through the love of Christ.
What this means is that
- We will treat everyone with respect
- We will work holistically with individuals, families and communities to empower them to make their own decisions
- We will seek what is good for each person and for all people
- We will be professional in what we do
- We will recognise Te Tiriti o Waitangi as foundational for working in an Aotearoa New Zealand context
“Working together to live life well”
This statement reminds us that to achieve our purpose of supporting well-being for all, we need to work together as clients, professionals and community. What this means is that our practice is to build a partnership with our clients and other professionals that supports positive change and recognises the value and abilities of the people that come to us for assistance.
The agency was established in Dunedin in 1968 initially providing support to young pregnant mothers and general social work assistance. Over the years, in response to changing social needs, we have extended our services to include professional counselling and group programmes with a major focus on supporting parents and children.
Our services are free or low cost and available to all.
Who uses our services?
Most people approach us directly but we also take referrals from other community agencies, the health sector and Oranga Tamariki. We provide services in Dunedin city and have in recent years developed outreach services in and around Central Otago.
Our Guiding Principles
You are who you are and we will try and support you the best we can. If you have particular cultural, learning or other needs, please let us know.
Te Tiriti o Waitangi
CSS recognises Te Tiriti as foundational to working within Aotearoa/New Zealand. As a service available to all people we will do support the three pillars of partnership, participation and protection.
Please be aware that because CSS aims to provide a safe place for all people, violent or abusive behaviour is not tolerated. Those that engage in this behaviour may be asked to leave.
When we work with you it is so that you can meet your goals. We will spend some time with you to make sure we know what you want to achieve and how we can support you to make this happen.
When we work with you, you can be assured that your private information will be protected. This means that we will not talk about you without your permission unless there is a concern that someone may be harmed.
If it comes to our notice that someone has been or maybe seriously harmed, our Code of Ethics means that we must alert the appropriate authorities. The staff member will first consult with the Practice Manager or Director of Catholic Social Services and a decision made about the next step. We will let you know what happens next as soon as we can so you know what the process will be.
As part of Catholic Social Services professional practice, all staff will be supervised both at CSS and sometimes by an external supervisor to help them review the work they do and ensure you are receiving the best help that we can provide.
Information we collect
To help us understand who we are working with we will ask you for some information for statistical and auditing purposes. We will also record notes of our work with you on a secure client management system which we will hold for a period of 10 years. You can request a copy of your notes by applying in writing to the Director of Catholic Social Services. Notes will be reviewed before being released to you within 20 working days.
Oranga Tamariki may sometimes request information under their Act, section 66, about you and your family to help them make a decision around the safety of your children. When this happens we will inform you as soon as possible. Police may also request information when it relates to Family Harm.
Some of our funding comes from Government departments. They regularly audit our work to ensure that we are meeting the standards of care and financial management expected of publicly funded organisations. In this process they may check how we do our reporting, but they are not looking for any private information.
If you have a concern about the skills, actions or attitudes of one of our staff that cannot be directly resolved with them you should direct your complaint in writing to The Director, Mike Tonks, email@example.com or POBox 2047 Dunedin 9044. Your complaint will be investigated and reported back to you as soon as possible. Further information about this process is available on request.
We will work with you to set an appointment time that we both can keep. We appreciate that from time to time things may come up which means neither one of us can make that appointment. You can expect from us that we will contact you to let you know if there is a change as soon as is practicable. We would appreciate if you can to do the same for us.
Our usual office hours are 9-5 Monday to Friday. If you email, call or text outside of these times you will need to leave a message and we will return your call when we return to the office.
At the conclusion of your work with us you will be asked to fill in an evaluation. This is used to help you think about what has changed for you while working with us. It also helps us continue improving our service, report to our funders and provide you with a helpful reflection on the process of change that you may have gone through. We appreciate your honesty in filling these out.
Catholic Social Services only receives partial funding to provide professional services free. It costs around $75 per hour or $75 for a course so if you are able to make a contribution to your service this would help. You may be eligible for a subsidy from MSD too. please talk to your CSS staff member.
Meet our staff
Our staff are all members or provisional members of their relevant professional associations. This means they meet and maintain the standards set by their professions. They also receive clinical and cultural supervision to assist us in giving you the best possible service.
Housing / Sustaining Tenancies
Social Work / Supervised Contact Manager / Play On
Parenting Courses / ABC
Senior Practitioner Social Work
Community Support Central
Social Worker / BSG
Administration / reception
Game On Coordinator
Community Support / Game On
Treasured Wee Ones