Simon Burges-Short

Social Worker

I am a qualified and registered social worker with 25 years of experience. I am a member of ANZASW and registered social worker through SWRB. Early in my career, I worked for 8 years as a community youth worker predominantly working with gang families and then on a residential program for young offenders. This experience showed me the dynamics of the families where violence is a ‘norm’ and how to work with and motivate changes for young people in these whanau. I then worked with Child Youth and Family Services for 12 years . My role was a frontline social worker working with whanau where care and protection & youth offending existed, then I became a senior practitioner then a supervisor for the frontline staff. This experience gave me a deep knowledge around the practice framework of statutory social work to safeguard children’s wellbeing within whanau.

I am currently working as Clinical Lead for Social Work atTe Whatu Ora,Te Poutini. This role gives me an understanding of current practice framework of social work within DHB physical and mental health settings. I am currently attending the Family Violence Interagency Response System (FVIRS) which formulates joint response plans to all family harm incidents attended by Police in the West Coast (Westland, Grey, Buller) and have been on FVIRS for 10 years, firstly with CYFS then health. I have been and continue to be involved in a number of community roles in the community that gives me experience and understanding of the family environment where abuse occurs. I have been a member of the West Coast Te Rito Family Violence for over 12 years . This forum incorporates over 20 government and non-government agencies who come together to plan and carry out community projects to prevent and effectively respond to family violence in Westland and Grey Districts.

I have and continue to co-facilitate a weekly Men’s Support Group for 8 years, which sits under Safe Men, Safe Family. This is a peer led and non-mandated support group for men who use or have used family violence in their relationship. I am a founding member and a Trustee of the Phoenix Community Trust which runs a men’s safehouse in Greymouth. This trust is an entirely community led response to the need of men to have safe and supportive place to stay while enacting changes. I am a White Ribbon Ambassador for the West Coast. This role gives me opportunities to be the positive role model for men and encourage community action to stand up against family violence.