Changing the lives of Southland families

By Petrina Wright | Posted: Tuesday January 16, 2024

The needs of vulnerable Southland families are being met, a recent audit of Family Works Southland confirms.

Social sector auditors, Te Kāhui Kāhu, Social Services Accreditation completed an audit of Family Works Southland on November 30 this year.

Ten Level 1 Social Sector Accreditation Standards were assessed with nine standards met and one standard partially met due to a minor issue, a date needing to be changed in a couple of policies.

“Whilst not surprising, the fabulous accreditation audit result is confirmation of the wonderful work that our Family Works team undertakes across the region,” Presbyterian Support Southland chief executive Matt Russell said.

“We are proud and passionate about the provision of these critical services and the impact they have on the lives of so many.”

The assessor conducted an intensive audit across all aspects of the organisation, including at the operational and financial levels. The assessor conducted site visits to Invercargill, Gore and Te Anau, met with a broad range of staff and external referrers to the service, and reviewed client and staff files, and client exit evaluations.

The assessor stated – “The level of engagement that kaimahi establish with clients and whānau is impressive and the contribution to the community the organisation provides is commendable, that results in measurable outcomes that will continue to impact positively on participants’ lives.”

Family Works director Judith McInerney said she was really proud of her staff and the work Family Works was doing to support families in the community.

“The audit is not just a tick box exercise. For us, it is actually about ensuring we are meeting the needs of our clients properly and safely, and being responsive to what our community needs.

“The result also demonstrates our worth to the community, funders and government agencies.

“Although the audit process is very involved, it is reassuring to receive external feedback which reinforces what we already believed - that we are doing a really good job. We are changing lives.”

In order to maintain its contracts with Oranga Tamariki, Family Works is required to undergo an audit every two years.