Last year SVS – Living Safe became part of an exciting new initiative to develop a new service for its clients. The programme is out of the Ministry of Social Development and is called Whānau
Resilience. We were one of five organisations in the Top of the South and one of dozens across New Zealand granted funds over five years to identify a need in our own community, design a service,
implement it, and then assess it.
Over the last several months, SVS – Living Safe Clinician Aaron Agnew has led this effort, undertaking what is essentially a large SWOT analysis. He has engaged with different stakeholders in the family violence area, including his SVS - Living Safe colleagues, to understand the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats of what our local family violence service looks like.
“The early work was about collecting the community and whānau voice through one-on-one interviews, surveys, and community engagement meetings. The process was interrupted a bit during the COVID-19 lockdown and so it’s taken longer than we hoped, but we recently came to the end of that first phase of the project.”
Aaron says he found the entire process, including working together with the five Top of the South organisations, extremely enlightening.
“So many ideas have come from the process. We shared everything, compared our findings, and sought out how we could continue to work together as everything has evolved. I would really like to continue this connection with these organisations for the long term, it’s proved to be quite valuable to all of us.”
The first phase work has identified some quick and easy fixes in the way SVS – Living Safe operates that will improve the client experience right away. Then there are other, more significant ideas that address bigger needs. Aaron says, “We are homing in on this new service and we think it can become a long-lasting resource for our clients.”
The design phase is just underway and it includes shaping and scoping the programme. It has to fit in with one or more of five Pou/pillars and Aaron says he’s very confident he will achieve this:
- Strengthen cultural identity and whakapapa
- Strengthen social capability and community connection
- Support behaviour change for men and people using violence
- Support trauma healing and recovery from violence
- Create healthy relationship and skills
The new service is expected to be named before the end of this year and delivered for the first time in early 2021. Watch this space!