Kaupapa Māori approach
Corrollie and Dave are lovingly referred to by tamariki and whānau they work with as Aunty and Uncle.
Working across networks
Corrollie and Dave are Kaupapa Māori transition whare caregivers. Their kaupapa Māori approach to returning tamariki to their whānau establishes life-long relationships and strong foundations of respectful communication and understanding.
Dave and Corrollie use a wairua, whakaaro and tikanga Māori approach. They take pride in working with the whānau unit as a whole and providing tamariki with a voice.
Dave says, “We call it the 3 T’s, think, talk and teach wairua. We have hui night and morning, karakia is mandatory, we have a tuakana, teina system, we have pōwhiri and poroporoāki for all our tamariki and we do our best to include the whole whānau in what we do.”
The couple work in collaboration with social workers; whānau and community organisations to ensure the right support networks are identified and implemented throughout the process.
“What is really good about the model is that when children see us engaging with their whānau it stabilises them in the home. Their behaviour becomes really, really good,” says Dave.
Going the distance for whānau
The pair have worked with more than 70 whānau and their approach has seen many of their tamariki successfully return to whānau.
Corrollie says, “We are putting our hands up to go anywhere that will benefit moko and tamariki in care and our whānau. I believe 100 percent if you get the right people with the right āhua, positive things will happen for our moko.”
Dave and Corrollie provide on-going support to whānau once tamariki return home, with follow up visits and hui to address any challenges they may face.
"We take a very holistic approach and we work on healing the whole whānau with the mokopuna.”
Guidance through the process
Whānau hui now play a daily role in the lives of Isabella and her children, providing a platform for respectful discussion and open communication.
This is just one of many tikanga Isabella and her whānau have established at home after working hard to get her children back into her care.
Isabella first met Dave and Corrollie in Whangarei and says without their guidance she may never have regained custody of her children.
She openly admits becoming a mother at 15 was hard and she wasn’t prepared to cope with the responsibility which led to her children being removed from her care. “I turned to drugs and alcohol and pretty much gave up hope of ever getting them back again.”
This all changed when Isabella was contacted by Dave and Corrollie who worked closely with her, her wider whānau and tamariki to build an environment her children would flourish in.
“If I don’t agree with my kids, or if they don’t agree with me we call a whānau hui and sit down and talk and really listen to each other, it’s such an important part of our daily life now and even though it’s a simple thing it makes such a huge difference.”
Stronger whānau units
Since working with the couple Isabella has had her children back in her care for almost a year and she continues to work closely with Dave and Corrollie.
“The good thing about Aunty and Uncle is they strengthen your own whānau unit but they also connect you with all the other whānau they work with. So we have built a whole other family network, we support each other and talk to each other about everything.”
Dave and Corrollie’s work recently featured on TVNZ’s Maori Current Affairs show Marae.
Ultimately their long term dream is to become full time Mentor / Coaches for caregivers to help share the model they use, that has seen great outcomes for tamariki in care.