The Whānau Services Team

Janinne Thomas

Strong shared values are why I jumped at the chance to partner with Sandra and grow Whānau Centred Services to become a great example of a social enterprise that focuses on the whānau we support, and the whānau we have on our team. Shared values and deep connections are what drives our mahi and our service forward.  

My experience while running small businesses has shown me the importance of supporting the people you have on your team to achieve their goals. I have a passion for working with a team who are committed to the delivery of quality community and social services. Every member of our Whānau Centred Services team has a dream; to focus their mahi on a particular challenge in society, and I am passionate about helping them achieve those dreams.  

My degree in Social Policy and experience as a financial mentor has enabled me to search for different ways to improve the welfare of individuals and Whānau.

Sandra Druskovich

Sandra has over 35 years working in social services in New Zealand. During this time Sandra worked with the Ministry of Education and the Ministry of Health. Sandra's achievements include managing and developing services for disabled women, leading foster care services, and managing and developing therapeutic services.

Developing innovative services that meet the needs of individuals, families and services has been a central focus for Sandra throughout her career. Attention to detail, client-centred focus and ensuring the voice of the client is presented are key objectives that guide her practice.

Tinaka Harrison

Tinaka is our Senior Practitioner and has bachelor's degree in Ngā Poutoko Whakarara Oranga (Bicultural social work). Tinaka has a great deal of experience working with vulnerable youth and families.

Tinaka's professional focus is on whānau centred social work. Her strong family values drive her to provide the best possible care for children and families.

Tinaka has a principles based approach to social work, with a strong drive to support people in the community who cannot advocate for themselves and to give them a voice.

Peter Druskovich

Peter’s career in human services has spanned 35 years. Peter has worked in both community and Government organisations in roles such as senior management, team leader, case management and social worker.

Peter has worked alongside people with traumatic brain injuries; serious physical injuries including trauma and abuse, children and adults with physical, intellectual and sensory disabilities, and adults with serious mental health issues and addiction.

Peter's key motivation in any role is to ensure the delivery of quality, person-centred support; focusing on meaningful outcomes for everyone he walks alongside; being accountable, reliable, innovative; and to seek to inspire others to make a difference.

Catharina Siraa

Catharina's passion for both people and relationship building drives her career in social services, and we are excited to welcome her to our financial mentoring team. Catharina's experience includes working within multiple non-profit organisations over the last six years, and in a range of roles including administration and volunteer management.

Catharina’s combined business and social policy studies, alongside her practical volunteer experience, give her a unique perspective on social services. Catharina combines practical experience working within a variety of roles in the non-profit sector. Catharina has also worked at Citizens Advice Bureau and Community Waikato where she has managed volunteers and worked face to face with clients.

Catharina brings to the team strong communication skills, as well as experience working with people in a range of contexts and with different life experiences.

Lorraine Burger

Lorraine is a Registered Social Worker with an absolute passion for people. Lorraine has vast experience in the Social Work field, ranging from statutory work, foster care, adoption, bereavement groups, community development, and prison work.

Some highlights of Lorraine’s career are: graduating with distinction, assisting in setting up a sensory room for elderly persons with Alzheimer’s Disease, and working as a Community Development Practitioner for the Western Cape’s first Intergraded Residential Development Programme.

Lorraine’s social work is based on Carl Roger’s Person-Centred Approach. The approach allows me to help facilitate change in the lives of individuals, families and communities. Lorraine enjoys supporting clients to manage challenges using goal setting and guidance.

Nikki Abrams

Nikki is an Occupational Therapist with 21 years’ experience. Nikki has a background in adult and child physical, mental health and special needs including sensory processing and emotional regulation difficulties. Nikki focuses on traumatic and non-traumatic brain injury; in the residential, hospital and community setting.

Nikki has developed a resilience programme for children aged between 5-12 years old. Resilient kids is an inspirational nature-based neuro-sequential cognitive programme. The programme is aimed at children who are often identified as having observable difficulties within the home, classroom, or social situations, In particular, areas of executive function, emotional regulation and social interactions.

Nikki has a special interest in children and optimal learning. She has recently developed a motor integration programme for students to aid learning within the classroom and for those struggling to read, write or progress in their school work.

 

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