More about

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

Our Mission

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

Our Aim

“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.

Our History

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

Respect

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.

Behaviour Standards

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.

Intentionality

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.

Confidentiality

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.

Disclosure

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.

Supervision

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.

Information Sharing

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.

Accountability

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.

Complaints Procedure

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, mike@cathsocialservices.org.nz 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.

Appointments

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.

Making contact

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.

Evaluations

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.

Cost

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.

Image
Paul Barham

Housing / Sustaining Tenancies

Image
Shona Waterhouse

Senior Counsellor

Image
Jacqueline Legros

Social Work / Supervised Contact Manager / Play On

Image
Henk Van Der Vis

Counsellor

Image
Mike Tonks

Director

Image
Liz Elder

Parenting Courses / ABC

Image
Michelle Morris

Supervised Contact

Image
Christine Burgin

Senior Practitioner Social Work

Image
Heather McMonigle

Counsellor

 

Image
Dona Foley

Community Support Central

 

Image
Geoff Heward

Counsellor Central

Image
Sarah Highsted

Counsellor

 

Image
Luana Boel

Social Worker / BSG

Image
Bev Harris

Counsellor

 

Image
Margaret Bennett

Administration / reception

Image
Marco Kleinlangevesloo

Game On Coordinator

Image
Rayleen Hubac

Whanau Support

Image
Allan Silvestro

Whanau Support

 

Image
Callum Hartstonge

Community Support / Game On

 

Image
Suzan Evans

Childrens Counselling

 

Image
Mel Eady

Treasured Wee Ones

Image
India Hughes

Child Counselling

 

Meet our Board Members

Image
Michael Dooley

Chair

 

Image
Gerard Aynsely
Image
Craig Radford
Image
Lisa Oseki
Image
John Sneddon

Accountant

 

Image
Angela Vaaeau
Image
Adele Smith
Image
John Curran