annual report 2009-2010 cover image

Communities are better able to support themselves

Communities know best the types of services they need to respond to the issues facing them. They know what help is available locally and they are active in finding local solutions to local issues. We worked together with community organisations and central government to strengthen the capabilities of communities, and to improve services so they are better able to help families in need and to ensure their members can participate fully in life in a stronger community.

Supporting communities and community organisations

High Trust Contracting

The Ministry is the first government department to introduce High Trust Contracting.
To qualify for a High Trust Contract, providers must demonstrate strong governance and management, consistent delivery of services their communities need, good reporting systems, and financial viability.

High Trust Contracts draw together into one contract all the services funded by Family and Community Services, Child, Youth and Family, Work and Income and the Ministry of Youth Development.

Contracts for the delivery of community services by organisations are intended to be simple, focused on achieving results, and able to provide flexible service delivery to families and individuals across a range of our services.

This year the Ministry worked with 24 community organisations to trial this new approach. Work is continuing to identify up to 150 service providers able to support the criteria for High Trust Contracting.

Over the last year, as part of a new programme, we developed High Trust Contracting with a number of our community-based organisations. These contracts:

  • recognise the trust built up over time between organisations, and the quality of that relationship
  • use simple but effective contracting processes to support and capitalise on the strengths and benefits of high trust relationships
  • have less detailed funding agreements
  • provide upfront funding
  • require reporting only once a year.

Whānau Ora

Over this year, in association with Te Puni Kōkiri and the Ministry of Health, we worked on the development of Whänau Ora. In Budget 2010, the Government confirmed that $134 million will be available over four years to allow Te Puni Kōkiri, the Ministry of Health and the Ministry of Social Development to jointly implement this policy.

The Whānau Ora Fund aims to foster family wellbeing for all families. It will purchase social services from providers that focus on families as a whole, supporting those families who are experiencing or have experienced family violence, helping them to resolve their issues as a family rather than on an individual basis.

Next year, we will do further work to consolidate the implementation of Whānau Ora. Expressions of interest will be sought to select the first 20 Whänau Ora provider organisations or sites.

Community Response Fund

The Community Response Fund is a short-term, time-limited response to address the immediate cost and demand pressures the economic downturn is putting on community-based critical social services for families, children, young and older people.

The Fund’s purpose is to deliver additional funding to support the provision of critical social services to our most vulnerable individuals and families. Funding of up to $104 million over two years has been made available and its disbursement overseen by 12 regional panels and one national panel.

Over the year, we established 12 new regional panels, along with a national panel. As well, the Ministry developed or encouraged:

  • a new way of working with the social sector in partnerships
  • increased community involvement in and a collaborative approach to funding decisions
  • more efficient and streamlined application processes
  • an increased focus on innovative responses to demands
  • provider co-operation to achieve better results for families
  • a web-based database to better support application processes.

In this year’s three application rounds, 817 applications for assistance were received and 479 received funding of $25.4 million.

Settling In – Refugee and Migrant Social Services

The Refugee and Migrant Settling In programme helps refugee and migrant communities to build relationships with their host communities, and supports the collaborative development of government policies and programmes.

It helps refugees and migrants to establish themselves in New Zealand, and provides them with the skills, knowledge and confidence they need to become fully-functioning participants in their new country. Current programmes were consolidated, and additional networks were established in places such as Palmerston North, Hamilton and Tauranga.

In Budget 2010, the Government announced it was increasing its investment in Settling In over the next three years. This will enable further networks to be established at new sites including Dunedin and Oamaru, and the strengthening of networks, particularly in Auckland.

Settling In was a finalist in the 2010 IPANZ Gen-iPublic sector Excellence Awards in the category Working Together for Better Services. This recognised outstanding performance and the achievement of joint outcomes across clusters of agencies.

United Nations Conventions on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities

Work commenced on our inaugural report against the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, which New Zealand ratified in 2008. Initiatives are underway to help promote, protect and monitor the rights of people with disabilities in line with the Convention, which will see New Zealand strengthen its reputation as a world leader in disability issues by supporting disabled people to do their own monitoring. The report will be finalised in 2010/2011.

We have been working on policy initiatives to improve the lives of disabled people by changing the attitudes and behaviours that limit their opportunities. We are developing a programme of activities to raise public awareness of the issues facing disabled people in New Zealand and these will be developed and will be delivered over the next three years.

Eliminating family violence

Eliminating family violence is a priority for the Government, and State and community agencies are working hard towards this goal. The Ministry’s Statement of Intent indicator on the number of family violence incidents recorded each year shows a decrease in these incidents from 43,307 in 2008 to 42,437 in 2009.

Taskforce for Action on Violence within Families

The overall campaign received the Prime Minister’s supreme award at the Institute of Public Administration’s New Zealand Public Sector Excellence Awards, after winning the category for Public Sector Communications.

The Taskforce for Action on Violence within Families was established to address family violence and to put in place a work programme that would start to change the way New Zealanders view family violence. The taskforce consists of chief executives and decision makers from government and non-government sectors, the judiciary, and Crown agencies.

Campaign for Action on Family Violence
The campaign aims to change attitudes and behaviours to reduce the incidence of family violence. It wants to create an environment where family violence is not tolerated and where people feel safe in their own homes.

The ongoing campaign includes a range of initiatives such as communications, assistance for Children who Witness Family Violence, and Whänau Violence Prevention.

Over this year, we developed two television commercials aimed at motivating family and friends to be effective helpers and influencers when people close to them are living with violence.

We also developed a range of resources and advocacy tools to support change in individuals, families and communities. These include:

  • a toolkit for employers (Good for Staff, Good for Business)
  • resources to help families prevent child abuse before it occurs and to get help if it’s already happening (Keeping Kids Safe and Secure, Aroha in Action)
  • resources to support change agents (Community Action Toolkit, a Media Handbook for Police).

The Family Violence Dashboard of Indicators
In April 2010, the Taskforce completed its first Family Violence Dashboard of Indicators which is designed to better monitor the level of family violence in New Zealand. Over time, the Taskforce will extend the data collected, so when put together the indicators will tell an important story about family violence in New Zealand and what progress is being made.

The Pacific Programme of Action
This programme of action was developed by the Pacific Advisory Group as part of the Taskforce’s ongoing programme of work. It sets out a practical framework for addressing issues and priorities in relation to violence within Pacific families and communities.

In April and May 2010, the Pacific Champions of Change held a series of nine fono from Auckland to Dunedin. The aim of these fono was to explore how the Pacific communities in New Zealand could take charge of, and lead, their own solutions for preventing violence in Pacific people’s homes and communities. In particular, the views of younger Pacific community leaders were encouraged, to help us more effectively tackle family violence within New Zealand’s Pacific communities.

All resources can be viewed and ordered through the campaign’s website at

Early support

An economic downturn has wide social impacts. Family violence, child abuse, neglect and offending are all correlated with social and economic factors. The key to dealing with these issues is to direct resources and efforts early in people’s lives and early in the life of a problem. Early action to stop violence is more effective in protecting children and in rehabilitating perpetrators.

Community Links

Community Link is an integrated cross-agency approach with a range of government and non-government service providers working together to service common clients. We’ve opened up our sites to our partners and we are sharing resources with a focus on helping the clients we jointly work with. At a Community Link, partners don’t just operate on site, we also have a direct link to their services at their own location.

The Community Link way of working means we tackle the underlying causes of a client’s problems not just the symptoms quicker and together. This means, where a person has multiple needs, agencies no longer deliver their services to the client and their families in isolation.

In 2009/2010, we opened 17 Community Link Centres to provide integrated social services. These are located in Rotorua, Glenn Innes, Westgate, Whakatane, Tokoroa, Onehunga, Thames, Te Kuiti, Turangi, Greymouth, Kaitaia, Masterton, Napier, Taupo, Blenheim, Whangarei and Porirua. This means we have 23 Community Links across the country.

Community Link in Courts
The Taskforce for Action on Violence within Families led the implementation of a Community Link in Courts programme in the Porirua Family Court and Family Violence Court in May 2010.

Porirua Community Link is also piloting the Community Link in Courts’ CLiC project, which aims to provide a wraparound service to people affected by family violence. It is a Court-based service that links people to support and other specialist agencies. Those affected by family violence in the Porirua region will be able to get access to CLiC by either: self referral, for Family Court and Family Violence Court users affected by family violence; or judicial referral, for Family Violence Court defendants intending to plead guilty only.

We also have Community Link Centres in Linwood, Huntly, Flaxmere, Naenae, Ashburton and Kamo.

Integrated Service Response

Led by Work and Income, the Integrated Service Response (ISR) is an integrated cross‑agency approach to help the most at-risk individuals and families deal with the underlying causes of their problems. The main objectives of the ISR, in order of priority are to:

  • meet child safety and development needs
  • address other priority needs faced by a family
  • assist the family to improve their circumstances by meeting employment needs.
  • Integrated Service Co-ordinators (ISCs) work across the Ministry, and in partnership with other government agencies and non-government organisations, to support our most at-risk clients by providing a co-ordinated interagency response.
  • The ISR allows us to work with partners to tackle the underlying causes and not just the symptoms of clients’ problems. This co-ordinated approach allows us to better manage deep-rooted issues such as family violence, drug and alcohol abuse, debt, health problems, criminal activity, unemployment, housing and education. At times, these issues can be interlinked for our most vulnerable and at-risk families.
  • The ISR operates from 63 sites across the country and is an integral part of the services offered in our Community Links. We added 10 sites over the year to respond to the increased demand for Work and Income’s services. We signalled in our 2009–2012 Statement of Intent we would develop an indicator for the effectiveness of the Integrated Service Response. As the Ministry’s strategy in this area has developed, we have established an indicator for the number of Community Link Centres operating in our 2010–2013 Statement of Intent.

By July 2010, of the 1,070 clients (representing 341 adults and 729 children) who had entered the programme between February and July 2009, and had been reassessed, the following outcomes had been achieved:

  • 22 per cent improved their financial position
  • 80 per cent reported an improvement in their quality of housing
  • 94 per cent were enrolled with a GP and 62 per cent with a Primary Health Organisation
  • 100 per cent of children attended WellChild, were immunised and had reduced truancy
  • 83 per cent of children had improved their achievement at school.

Family Start

We contract to provide intensive, home-based support services for families with high needs. The Family Start programme targets those 15 per cent of families with the greatest needs who have young children up to five years of age.

The programme is made up of three components:

  • The Family Start programme – provides home-based support services for families with high needs, ensuring their children have the best possible start in life.
  • Family Start Study Awards – makes up to 50 study awards available each year to help family/whānau workers and supervisors employed in Family Start sites to get a tertiary qualification in social work, health or early childhood education.

Family Start Early Learning programme – provides financial assistance for up to 1,750 Family Start/Early Start client children so they can get access to early childhood education.

Last year, we supported 48 Family Start employees to do tertiary qualifications to improve the effectiveness of our services to the most vulnerable families. Since the inception of this programme, 40 Family Start Study Award recipients have graduated.

At any one time during the year, over 5,700 families were supported by Family Start.

Strengthening Families

During the year, nearly 2,000 families received assistance, up from 1,500 in the previous year.

Strengthening Families (SF) is a whole-of-government initiative, administered by the Ministry, which co-ordinates a network of support for families requiring multi-agency assistance.

SF brings together a family and all the agencies that have a part to play in helping that family. Together, the family and the agencies develop an action plan that reflects the family’s needs.

The early connection of families to services and the willingness of government and community agencies to collaborate in providing the most effective service for each family, enables us to shift the focus from dealing with the consequences of difficulties in children’s lives, to preventing things from going wrong in the first place.

Supported by 11 different government agencies and a variety of local community organisations, this community-based initiative operates across nearly 60 locations in New Zealand, each with its own network. SF is tailored to the local needs and circumstances within each area, is overseen by a Local Management Group and is supported by key government agency regional heads through a SF Regional Governance Group.

This year Strengthening Families was featured in an international study in which it was described as an exemplar of network delivery allowing agencies to organise integrated delivery around the needs of specific cases.

Parent support and development programmes and initiatives

During the year, over 50,000 home visits were made to approximately 6,500 families.

Parents as First Teachers
This is a home-visiting programme to support parents to take a more active role in the early development of their children from pre-natal to three years of age. It provides information and support to parents so they can help their children develop to the maximum of their ability during these crucial early years.

Parents as First Teachers targets vulnerable families/whänau, families on low incomes, young mothers, single parent families, and those parents who lack family or community support or parenting knowledge.

Strategies with Kids, Information for Parents
Strategies with Kids, Information for Parents (SKIP) develops and provides resources containing practical parenting information to increase parents’ knowledge and skills. It supports parents and caregivers to raise children in positive ways. It provides parents with a range of parenting tools to give them the skills to deal with non-physical discipline, love, nurturing and setting boundaries. It delivers practical solutions to promote and support positive parenting. It also funds initiatives to help change attitudes and behaviours.

This year, we developed a website which includes resources and information to help parents, as well as case studies and other information to help community organisations.

This year SKIP supported 51 new community projects helping families to learn more about positive parenting. We have close links with organisations such as Plunket, Barnardos, Playcentre, Kohanga Reo National Trust, Parents Centre, Rural Education Activities Programme Aotearoa and the Cook Islands Health Network.

Budget Services

During the year, Budget Services were provided to approximately 25,500 families throughout New Zealand.

The Budget Services programme helps individuals and families to achieve their financial goals by giving them free access to financial education and group seminars, and to confidential one-to-one budget advice and assistance. This is provided by skilled budget advisors working in community-based, non-government agencies.

In the last year, Budget Services providers reported an increase in demand and a greater complexity of cases resulting from redundancies, mortgagee sales and other financial difficulties arising from the economic downturn.

One hundred and sixty-two MSD-funded services nationwide provided budget advice and education for local communities.

annual report 2009-2010 cover image

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