ASK Strengthening Families - What is it?
Strengthening Families is about the coordination of a process for families, government agencies and non-government organisations(NGOs) working together to improve life outcomes for families, children and young people. These outcomes include:
- Better access to health and education
- Better job prospects for young people
- Improved ability to form positive relationships
- Stronger families/whanau
- Greater knowledge of available services
The approach recognises:
- Families have a profound impact on outcomes for their children.
- A collaborative approach among agencies and across the sectors involved with families is more effective for families than unilateral, separate interventions.
- Early intervention in the life of a problem and in the life of a child creates lasting changes.
- Families/whanau sometimes need support to help family members reach their full potential.
The key messages underpinning Strengthening Families include:
- Prevention is better than cure.
- Early intervention is better than crisis intervention.
- Resilient parents.
- Provide local solutions to local problems.
- Find solutions through partnerships.
- Develop potential - build capacity.
- Voluntary for families/whanau
- Respectful of tikanga Maori and cultural diversity
- Collaborative - families, agencies and communities working together
Strengthening Families - Who can use it?
Any agency can refer a family to Strengthening Families. Families/whanau can also self-refer.
Families direct the process. They determine what information is shared and which agencies attend. At the initial meeting, the family/whanau talks about its priorities and the agencies explain how they can assist.
The family/whanau and agencies then work together to develop an action plan that reflects the family's priorities and includes a timeframe for action.
Periodic review meetings are held to ensure the action plan is working.