Last year the Ministry of Social Development granted funds to SVS – Living Safe and four other family violence organisations in the Top of the South Island to develop five new programmes within
each of the five communities. The initiative is called Whānau Resilience and the funding is spread out over five years to identify a need, design a service, and implement and analyse it.
Together, the five organisations have collaborated regularly on early engagement and programme development, sharing findings and discussing opportunities. The agencies cover a large geographic area from Kaikoura through Marlborough to Nelson and then out to Tasman and down the West Coast through to Haast.
SVS – Living Safe Clinician Aaron Agnew has been our lead on the project. “We are all finding different opportunities within our communities in part because there is also a lot of diversity amongst the client base for each organisation.”
Aaron says one of the best things about the Whānau Resilience initiative is that each organisation can develop a programme that is targeted to their community’s specific needs.
“Even though five of us are working together, we don’t have come up with a single, cookie-cutter programme and then push that into our five diverse communities. The point is to create something that will speak to the communities we serve.
“For example, the organisation in Marlborough already provides services to Māori whānau and so when they announce their service it will have a different target audience than our programme. While we help Māori whānau, we also have an extremely diverse population of Pākehā and migrant communities. Our service will be a reflection of Nelson Tasman, and that will make the approach and the programme more meaningful for people.”
Aaron has found the collaborative effort rewarding and enlightening. He is looking forward to launching it, which is planned for early 2021.