Rights and responsibilities

Strengthening Families works best when everyone understands what is important for your family/ whänau. There are many safeguards in place so you can be open and honest.

Giving consent

Before the first meeting your family/ whānau must sign a consent form.  This sets out how personal details are stored and how information will be shared.

You can change your mind at any time. This includes pulling out if you decide to. You do not have to say why.

Protecting your personal details

What you talk about will be shared with the agencies you agree to invite. This includes people from across the whole agency, not just the person who attends your meetings.

Every agency involved has their own rules on how they safeguard personal information. You may ask for details of how they protect you and your family’s private information.  

Under the Privacy Act you can request to see any personal details stored by the Strengthening Families coordinator or agencies.

The Ministry of Social Development collects some information for statistical and reporting purposes. This does not include the names or details of individual families.

Other rights

Every family/ whānau can:

  • expect to be heard and respected throughout the process
  • request who attends the meetings from the agencies involved. For instance, someone from the same cultural background or sex (provided the agency can arrange that)
  • decide not to have a meeting if you do not want one
  • ask for an interpreter if language is a barrier
  • you must also decide on when and where meetings are held, who to invite, and the issues that are discussed
  • make a formal complaint through the facilitator, main contact person, Co-ordinator, the Local Management Group or Family and Community Services. 

Family/ whānau responsibilities

The Strengthening Families process only works when families take steps to make changes themselves. Making progress toward goals is something support services can only assist you with. Nobody can force change on you or get you to try new things.

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