Professor Christa Fouche



Christa has worked as an educator, researcher, social worker, manager, and consultant in various contexts internationally. She has developed advanced skills in leadership, teaching, and research scholarship and substantial expertise in the fields of workforce development and chronic illness. She is Director of the Centre for Community Research and Evaluation (CCRE) and actively involved in several practice-based research initiatives. As an applied researcher, she has significant experience in developing and maintaining effective networks with multiple stakeholders through active involvement with interdisciplinary and culturally diverse teams. Research on workforce development in the health and social services include the migrant professional workforce, with a particular focus on employees’ experiences of work and career wellness. Projects in the field of chronic illness build on expertise in HIV/AIDS, aged care, and health care delivery. She has conducted research and published widely on the creative utilisation of community-based sites and practice-based research strategies to enable research that makes a difference in practice. She has extensive experience as research supervisor and external examiner at universities internationally and act as reviewer and board member for various professional journals. 

Research | Current

Projects focused on aspects of health and chronic illness and on workforce development in the social services include:

  • HiddenVoices: An exploration of the health needs of children growing up out of place
  • Boom Towns: Effective social service provision at the intersect of local government, the not-for-profit and the private sector
  • Crossing Borders: The training needs of overseas-trained social workers 
  • Educating future health care professionals to support people with chronic conditions 

Recent community research projects include:

  • The experiences of HIV positive Black African Migrants in New Zealand. More information here: 
  • Work-life experiences of people caring for individuals living with Alzheimers disease (refer to the co-authored book with Marilyn Waring, Managing Mayhem: Work Life Balance in New Zealand).
  • Research development and utilization in the social services. Visit the Growing Research in practice (GRIP) website


Postgraduate supervision

Christa has supervised to successful completion, research projects of Honours, Masters and Doctoral candidates in the social sciences on a wide range of topics and methodologies.

She currently acts as external examiner and/or moderator for Honours, Masters and Doctoral course work and research dissertations for different academic departments of a number of Universities internationally. Current doctoral supervisions include:

  • Chinnery, S. The importance of ‘state of mind’ in fostering a secure base.
  • Chubb, L. Creating Conversations: Using Community-Based Participatory Action Research to Develop a Platform for Sex Talk in Coast, Kenya.
  • Davys, A. Interprofessional supervision: Mapping the interface between professional knowledge, practice imperatives and difference.
  • Han, Y. The lived experiences of couples in culturally diverse reationships
  • KA Liya. Family reintegration experiences of young people after a positive youth development programme.
  • Mathew, A. The relationships between adolescents’ perceptions of family communication and adolescents’ internal strengths in India.
  • Smith, K. The impact and management of values in social work practice.
  • Thakkar, H.  ‘When I am no longer alive’: Understanding the influence of State funded supports and natural supports on the aspirations and apprehensions of the parents of severely disabled young adults. 
  • Thompson, A. Health care providers working together with families of a child with an undiagnosed neurological disorder to access, interpret, and use health care information. 
  • Urale-Baker, N. The place of song in contemporary Samoan funerals.  
  • Weld, N. Remaining on shaky ground: Exploring the concept of mental courage as perceived by older adults who survived the 2011 Christchurch earthquake.
  • Zhang, Wenli. Minimising gamling harm: lived experiences of Chinese casino players in New Zealand

Recently completed doctoral candidates include: 

  • Booysen, P. Counselling competency in NZ social work practice (2017)
  • Rankine, M. An Aotearoa/New Zealand perspective of supervision within community social service environments (2017)
  • Webster, M. Social work leadership in Aotearoa New Zealand (2017)

Areas of expertise

Research and teaching expertise focus on health and chronic illness and on workforce development in the social services.

Selected publications and creative works (Research Outputs)

Contact details

Primary office location

New Zealand