Keeping families together

Our early support and intensive response services aim to keep children safely with their families, with the help of community service providers.

As at June 2020, the total budget for our prevention and early support and intensive response services is $177 million.

The top five services, and how much we invest in them, are:

  • Family Start – $51.0 million
  • Social Workers in Schools (SWiS) – $27.6 million
  • Medium to high intensity wraparound family support services – $25.7 million
  • Low to medium intensity family support services – $8.5 million
  • Children’s Health Camps – $14.6 million

Early support

We provide and co-ordinate early support services to children, their families or whānau to address early signs of need, and reduce the risk factors that may lead to a child going into care. 

Family Start

Family Start is a flagship home-visiting programme for pregnant mothers, and family or whānau with infants and children or tamariki up to three years old, and up to five years old in some cases.

Every year Family Start works with 7,500 families and whānau – this involves 11,000 home visits per month. A small proportion (around 2%) of children in the programme go into care.

Find out more about Family Start

Social Workers in Schools

Social Workers in Schools (SWiS) is a school-based and community social work service, provided in about 700 English-medium and Māori-medium decile 1 to 3 primary and intermediate schools (Years 1 to 8).

In the 2018/19 year, SWiS worked with around 8,500 to 9,000 children, families and whānau.

Find out more about SWiS

Father and daughter

Intensive response

Along with our partners, we've established a new collaborative approach of intensive support for families and whānau where a child is at risk of going into care. This involves working closely with whānau so that a child can remain, where possible, safely at home with their whānau, within their culture and connected to their communities.

Working in partnership to collaboratively design

These intensive response models are being designed in collaboration with whānau, hapū and iwi and the wider community sector.

They know what their children or tamariki need and it’s vital we support them to find and develop the solutions. For now, this involves four Oranga Tamariki sites: Christchurch East, Tokoroa, Horowhenua and Ōtāhuhu.

We're also looking to progress some other collaborative design discussions in areas including Hastings and Napier, the Far North and Upper South.

The Mokopuna Ora Sustainability Project is built on a strategic partnership with Waikato-Tainui to codesign and deliver a framework that is focused on supporting whānau to keep tamariki out of care and, where they need to be taken into care, ensuring that whakapapa and whānau connections are maintained. Waikato Rural North and Papakura are the sites connected to this work.

Learning from and expanding existing relationships

We're supporting the implementation of intensive response models in areas where strong relationships between us and community partners are already in place. These are supporting around 340 families and whānau to stay together across the country.

We've started planning to expand support so that families get the support they need to achieve their goals and stay together.

Intensive response for whānau

Published: November 15, 2021