The process

The Strengthening Families process follows the same steps, but it is tailored to suit each individual whānau or family to ensure their needs are met.

What does the process look like?

1. Get started

The first step is getting in touch with your local coordinator – they can help identify if Strengthening Families is a good match for your situation.

You and your participating whānau or family members will be asked to sign a consent form to state you are volunteering to stick through the Strengthening Families process. This includes allowing your whānau or family information to be carefully shared with all the agencies involved.

The family member who gets the Strengthening Families process started for their whānau or family decides who is welcome to join the process – no one can participate without their approval.

2. Prepare for the first meeting

Someone from Strengthening Families will work with your whānau or family to prepare for the first meeting.

You decide who will be at the meeting, where and when it will be held, and what will be covered.

An important part of this stage is helping your whānau or family think through your strengths, issues, priorities and dreams.

Every effort is made to help your whānau or family overcome any barriers using Strengthening Families. We will do our best to find an interpreter if you cannot easily talk with the workers supporting you.

3. First meeting

At the first meeting, you and the people you have invited to the meeting will talk about what your whānau or family wants to achieve, and what support you need to get there.

You get to share what is important to you and the people you have invited all say where they think they can help.

Meetings are run in a way that suits you – this could mean starting with a karakia and mihi.

You can also bring along a support person or people for your whānau or family.

4. Agree on actions

All the actions that agencies and your whānau or family decide on are written down, along with agreed upon deadlines.

This action plan is sent to everyone who came to the meeting.

If you do not already have a main contact person, this will be agreed on at this time.

5. Carry out the actions

Every agency has to do the things they said they would by the agreed upon deadline.

To make sure things are happening, your main contact person will keep track of when things are done. They follow-up on your behalf if all the things agreed to are not happening.

Another meeting or meetings may be held – this brings people back together to talk about progress and agree on ways to tackle any problems that arise.

6. All done

When all the issues listed in the action plan are completed this is the end of the process.

You and your whānau or family will get a chance to share your views about Strengthening Families. The information collected is important as it will be used to help make the process better for other whānau and families.

If your whānau or family needs extra support, you can use Strengthening Families again. A new action plan will be agreed on, rather than adding to an old one.

Why use the process?

Whānau and families feel in control

Telling your story once to the support services and government agencies helping your whānau or family means everyone gets to hear the whole picture – not just parts of it. It helps services see things from your point of view so they can provide the help you really need.

Your whānau or family decide who comes to meetings and what is talked about. Everyone involved, including family members, work together to make things happen.

Strengthening Families focuses on looking forward. It is about what happens next not about what might have happened or gone wrong in the past.

Strengthening Families delivers results

Some of the benefits of using Strengthening Families are:

  • Your whānau or family find out what support they can get, as quickly as possible.
  • Your whānau or family has control over the process.
  • Agencies do what they say they will do.
  • Services and other support from the local community is used in the best way possible.

Do I have to participate?

Strengthening Families is a voluntary service to help your whānau or family work through their issues – no one has to participate against their will.

Published: June 28, 2022