Alvy is a Lead Professional based at our Takanini Family Service Centre. Joining Great Potentials Foundation allows her to make a change in her community. She is enjoying the role and hopes to grow further in the social work sector.


Tell us a little about yourself

My name is Alvy Shaji. I am a Lead Professional at Great Potentials Foundation based at Takanini Family Service Centre. I started working at Great Potentials Foundation in May 2021. I graduated with a Bachelor of Applied Social Work. I have always lived in the Counties Manukau area, so I want to contribute and make a change in the community that I live in.


What is a typical day at your job? 

As a Lead Professional, I work with cases that are referred to us by our partner, Aatea. The Aatea Panel provides all the information about the whānau/tamariki and their situation. They gather information from many agencies and services such as MOE, DHB, Police, Kainga Ora, MSD, and Oranga Tamariki. My role is to support whānau/tamariki on their social and economic factors and coordinate the help they need. 

A typical day for me is to consult with whānau and do initial assessments, such as making goals for whānau/tamariki and finding out what supports are needed concerning their social and economic factors. Then, I work alongside a network of practitioners and professionals to meet their goals.

Usually, I work with one case from 6 months to a year, depending on the timeframe of the goals. We will only close the case when we think the whānau /tamariki are ready to take the initiative in utilising the skills they have developed.


What do you love the most about your job?

What I love most about being a Lead Professional is that I can advocate for whānau who need support. Many whānau need to wait a long time for different services to start supporting their tamariki. With my support and our network of professionals and agencies, it is much easier to get information to the whānau so that their goals can be achieved.


Could you please share a special and/or unforgettable moment/ story during your time in your role?

There was a case of a tamariki who had an extreme behavioural issue and had a diagnosis of ADHD and developmental trauma. The whānau often had to call the police due to their tamariki’s behaviour. When I first received this case, I assisted the tamariki in being placed in another care facility with the support of Oranga Tamariki and other professionals. I worked on this case for almost six months. I worked on this case for nearly six months and was delighted to see a significant improvement in the tamariki’s behaviour; it makes my work meaningful!