Children's Teams evaluation report

Published: February 22, 2019

Findings of an evaluation that explored the implementation and operation of three Children’s Teams - Canterbury, Horowhenua/Ōtaki and Rotorua.


Children's Teams were established in 2012, and are a community-based initiative, designed to support tamariki and whānau in need of support. The teams sit outside the statutory care and protection system, so engagement is voluntary.

Children's Teams provide support through an integrated approach, where different groups share information, collaboratively assess need, develop a single plan of action, and broker access to required services. This approach reflects an understanding that a single organisation alone cannot protect and promote wellbeing.

This evaluation report summarises a range of information, including qualitative interviews with key stakeholders, and whānau currently or previously involved with Children's Teams. The report also integrates monitoring data and findings from previous evaluations.

Key findings

Whānau and stakeholders support the concept of Children’s Teams

Feedback suggests that the fundamental concept of the Children’s Teams model is sound, particularly the direct support provided to whānau by Lead Professionals.

  • Whānau reported an excellent experience with the teams overall, which was associated with relationship-based support and enhanced access to required services.
  • Stakeholders also acknowledged these areas of strength, and expressed strong conceptual support for the model.

There are structural barriers to delivering the model

Beyond front-line engagement, feedback from stakeholders highlights several challenges to successfully delivering the Children’s Teams approach.

  • Stakeholders identified implementation, process and community-level issues, which constitute structural barriers to the teams’ successful operation, and challenge their ability to support tamariki and whānau.

Technical appendices

To ensure a holistic understanding of Children's Teams, the evaluation involved engaging with a number of participating whānau and stakeholders. Findings from the following two appendices can be considered alongside the Children's Teams Evaluation Report.

Technical appendix A outlines findings from interviews with key stakeholders involved in delivering the approach

Technical appendix B outlines the experience of a number of whānau who engaged with Children's Teams.