Melissa – Family Harm Practitioner, Integrated Safety Response

Melissa has been with CRS for 12 years in a multitude of roles. Joining the team in 2009 as a Social Worker, Melissa has gone on to become an integral part of a collaboration with the Integrated Safety Response (ISR) as a Family Harm Practitioner, working with victims of family violence and domestic abuse.

In October 2010, Melissa was involved with the Earthquake Support Coordination Services as one of a team of five who were involved from the inception of the service. Working within this sector until 2015, Melissa then moved into the general social work side, before beginning her work with the ISR as a Whānau Support Worker.

The Integrated Safety Response is a multi-agency intervention designed to ensure the immediate safety of victims and children and to work with perpetrators to prevent further violence. CRS has been involved with the ISR since 2016, working with families affected by domestic violence within migrant communities.

Melissa says a highlight for her has been the huge amount of variety in the work that she gets to be involved in at CRS. “I’ve learnt so much about some really amazing community groups,” she says. Despite the challenges of the Christchurch earthquakes and the tragedy of the mosque shootings, Melissa says that CRS has become stronger as a result.

Melissa has always had a passion for working with ethnic communities and is grateful for all she has learned during her time at CRS.

“I feel like I’ve learnt so much from so many people, it’s just been absolutely amazing. From the team members, to the people themselves, the communities.”

It’s something that she “really loves to do and support. I’m just hoping I’ve given back as much as they’ve given me.”