Meet Vicki McDermott, Team Leader for Central Otago and Queenstown Lakes.

By Lucy Summers | Posted: Monday March 5, 2018

“What I like most about my job is being a witness to incredible stories of change and hope."

How long have you worked at Anglican Family Care?
I began my work here late in September 2017.

How did you get in to social work?
In my first role, I was a residential social worker at what is now Puketai Care and Protection residence in Dunedin. From there I worked at Otago Youth Wellness Trust for 17 years, formerly as a caseworker and then as practice manager of a multi-disciplinary team working with adolescents and their families.

What do you like most about your job?What I like most about my job is being a witness to incredible stories of change and hope. While my role is mainly to support the work of staff and the smooth running of the service for families, I get satisfaction from knowing a family has received an intervention that has been appropriate and empowering for them. I am a strong believer in “partnering”. Whether that be with a family, or another organisation or a colleague, I think that in this line of work it is always beneficial to share a problem, and that the best ideas come from collaboration.

What are the challenges?
For me, challenges are usually about things that block collaboration such as funding issues, silo thinking or how to fit my role into part time work! It is new for me to understand the geographical nature of providing a service in a large rural area. And that can be difficult as I need to balance and consider correct client/worker “fit” with where clients are located. By “fit” I mean the best skill match for the client.

What is your typical day?I am generally responding to referrals, supporting staff, attending meetings and working on service development needs with new contracts. The geographical area is large but I am mainly in Alexandra or Wanaka 20 hours each week.

When you aren’t working, what do you like to do?
I am usually outside, often walking or gardening. The environment is very conducive to making me feel good.

Contact our Central Otago team on 03 448 8228 or by email.