Counseling & Social Work Services | The Salvation Army

Counseling & Social Work Services

Helping individuals see a brighter future

Demand for counselling and social work services including case work, advocacy, social support and Positive Lifestyle Programmes (PLP) increased last year by nearly 25%. This need is expected to be significant this year too. There was an increase in the number of attendees for life skills courses, recovery groups and other forms of outreach. The levels of anxiety in families, and a lower sense of security, is manifesting in many areas like addictions, domestic tension and mental distress.

The Community Ministries teams and centres nationwide continue to welcome anyone and everyone to receive help. We assess what is going on in their lives and where we can be of assistance, even if it is just a listening ear. We are seeing an increased need for ongoing whānau support as people continue to feel stressed. The lockdowns, restrictions and uncertainty may have exacerbated feelings of isolation, addiction issues and vulnerabilities around mental and physical health. Your support enables us to still be here.

The provision of advocacy, counselling and social work support is the backbone to how we can build resilience and strengthen someone's fragile state. The emotional, psychological and spiritual toll is playing out in many aspects across the whole of society. As we navigate through another year of uncertainty, the service areas providing hope, emotional support and personal development are vital to sustain people and give them the tools to deal with what they are facing, so they can look towards a brighter future.

Donations support provision of services like counselling and social work that will bring us through this difficult time. Together we are 'Te Ope Whakaora'. That translates to 'the Army that brings life'.

A statistical snapshot of our counseling and social work services in 2021:

  • 41 centres provided 34,000 social work sessions—this was up 17.5% from the previous year.
  • Our counsellors worked with 22,223 clients.
  • 44% of clients finishing achieved 80% or more of their goals.

Real Life Impact:

For Matilda, supporting her 5-year-old daughter by herself—as her partner was not in the local area—was a challenge. The Positive Lifestyle Programme was recommended to help her control her anger and use of alcohol, as well as manage her grief from losing her father and low self-esteem. Despite a crisis situation of alcohol and medication which saw her admitted to hospital, Matilda continued with her course, never missed a session or appointment and fully engaged with the programme. Her social support worker recounts, 'She got so much out of each session that she found herself sharing her learnings with her partner over the phone'. Her partner commented on the positive changes he noticed.

By the end of the course, Matilda had taken a step forward to be enrolled and was accepted to study—one of her long-term goals. 'I was raised to deal aggressively, which leaves one lonely and disappointed, I have learnt it is okay to be kind and take positive risks'. In answer to which session was the most beneficial she replied, 'self-esteem, a long term issue of mine. Every session pulled out the good in me which I had pushed away'.

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