Louise Scannell, Child Protection Coordinator
Louise started at Te Whatu Ora Taranaki in May 2021 as a social worker in the Social Work Physical Health (adult acute) team and last week took on a new role – child protection coordinator (CPC).
Louise’s time is now split between the two roles, the CPC position is 0.4FTE and she’s retaining 0.5FTE as a social worker on the adult physical health wards.
We caught up with Louise to hear more about the CPC role and how she got to this point in her career.
Tell us about your role
In a very brief nutshell, it’s about making sure that systems and staff at Te Whatu Ora Taranaki support our Tamariki and Rangatahi who are at risk of, or are experiencing, abuse and/or neglect. This means supporting our staff across the region with training to know what child abuse/neglect might look like, and what they should do if they are worried about it; advocating for “at risk” children and young people accessing health services; and working closely with our community partners to get the best outcomes for our vulnerable Tamariki and Rangatahi.
Tell us about your team
The CPC is part of the violence intervention programme (VIP), and I’ll be working closely with Marianne Pike, the experienced family violence intervention coordinator. Each region has its own CPC, which means there’s a really good network of fellow coordinators around the country to connect with.
You’ll find me based in the social work department at Taranaki Base Hospital down the corridor from Marianne, in an office with my social work colleagues.
What’s your background, how did you get to this point in your career?
I qualified as a Social Worker in 2004 and spent 15 years working at Oranga Tamariki (previously Child, Youth and Family), with some time away in between having my own children. I worked across the board at Oranga Tamariki, from assessing reports of child abuse and neglect when they came in the door right through to discharging children from care, as well as in the youth justice team for a period of time. I’m really excited to be able to use this experience in a health context.
What do you like to do outside of work?
Travel! Our whānau enjoy travelling to interesting places and have some unfinished travel plans thanks to COVID, so planning those trips is my happy place. I also enjoy yoga, walks on the mountain, coffee and chocolate.