Pae Whakatupuranga: Functional Family Therapy Cross Generations: Evaluation

Published: July 2, 2021

Findings of the third wave of a multi-year evaluation of the 'Pae Whakatupuranga' programme.


Pae Whakatupuranga is a pilot programme aimed at breaking the intergenerational cycle of offending for young people and improving family wellbeing. It integrates Māori and Pacific cultural frameworks with the Functional Family Therapy (FFT) model.

Oranga Tamariki has partnered with the New Zealand Police, Department of Corrections, Youth Horizons Trust and the developers of FFT to design and deliver the pilot programme. Youth Horizons began implementing Pae Whakatupuranga in Auckland in July 2019.

The first wave of the evaluation focused on how well Pae Whakatupuranga operated in its first six months. The report was published in May 2020.

The second wave assessed how well the programme accommodated the cultural worldviews of Te Ao Māori and Pasifika peoples. This aligns with section 7AA in the Oranga Tamariki Act 1989, which sets out our commitment to the principles of Te Tiriti o Waitangi to improve outcomes for tamariki Māori and their whānau. The report was published in April 2021.

The evaluation report Pae Whakatupuranga: Functional Family Therapy Cross Generations (PW: FFT-CG) – Wave 3 Impact Evaluation Report provides the findings of the third wave of a multi-year evaluation of the programme (July 2019 to June 2023).

Key findings

A good start has been made on achieving the desired wellbeing outcomes:

  • increasing family cohesiveness
  • helping young people stay at home or move to independent living
  • helping young people stay at or return to school, training, or employment.

Pae Whakatupuranga continues to accommodate the cultural worldviews of Te Ao Māori and Pasifika peoples effectively. The culturally appropriate practice manual Te Huarahi o Te Rangatahi has been put in place.

While partner agencies are working together effectively, the programme completion rate is lower than anticipated.

  • The lower completion rate is likely due to a mix of factors, including the time required to embed a new team of therapists and disruptions to training and therapy delivery due to COVID-19 restrictions.

Key recommendations

Develop the referral process further by strengthening relationships and the flow of information between families, referrers and therapists.

  • The recently appointed Intake Therapist has worked with referrers to improve the quality of referrals, and with rangatahi and whānau to reinforce their commitment to completing the programme.
  • Improve programme effectiveness by continuing to recruit kaimahi who are well-grounded in the cultural worldviews of Māori and Pasifika.
  • Partner agencies to work with other social sector agencies (e.g. Kāinga Ora) to improve families’ access to support services.
  • If the programme was to be delivered by other organisations in other locations, then allow sufficient time to put in place a clinically and culturally competent frontline team that is supported by good documentation, processes and systems.