Working together with iwi
Collaboration between an iwi health and social services provider and Oranga Tamariki is helping provide better support for whānau in need.
Te Pou Oranga o Whakatōhea Health and Social Services provide a range of services for whānau living in and around Opotiki area, including parenting programmes, mental health services and WellChild/Tamariki Ora.
They've developed a strong relationship with Oranga Tamariki in Whakatane; both are focused on supporting whānau and ensuring tamariki live in safe and nurturing homes.
Benefits for whānau
Recently the two groups got together to celebrate the success of a three month social worker secondment from Oranga Tamariki.
Iwi Social Services Manager, Ian Linton, says the door is wide open for more secondments in the future.
He says there are tangible benefits to the relationship, with fewer whānau needing to be referred to Oranga Tamariki.
“During the three months, many whānau were supported in numerous situations. Some had multiple complex issues, and working together prevented the need for notifications to Oranga Tamariki.”
Ian says these whānau are now well supported and engaged regularly in programmes and services provided by Whakatōhea.
The secondment followed an iwi kaimahi spending three months based at Oranga Tamariki in Whakatane.
“So it’s a genuine sharing of expertise and kaimahi, a two way relationship’,” says Ian.
The relationship enables more holistic and culturally aligned support services for tamariki and whānau.
Oranga Tamariki Whakatane Site Manager, Melissa Pye, says the unique partnership is working well – whānau get the help they need, within an iwi service, in the first instance.
“Iwi and whānau will be there for the rest of their lives, so an integrated way is how we need to work if we want to see long term change.”
“I’d like other (Oranga Tamariki) sites to know, it is possible and it can work. To work alongside our Iwi providers can mean better outcomes for all”, says Melissa.