Family Start now in Gore and Mataura

By PSS | Posted: Tuesday October 3, 2017

The introduction of the Family Start programme to Gore and Mataura is set to provide invaluable support for families in need.

The home visiting programme, which is delivered by Family Works, assists parents with the health, welfare and education needs of their children, and assists parents with other issues they may be facing as part of day to day life.

Recent research findings have highlighted what we already knew, that the programme makes a significant difference in children’s lives. This evidence of the programme’s positive impact both locally and nationally has led to the Ministry of Vulnerable Children Oranga Tamariki supporting the extension of the programme into Gore and Mataura for 16 families. Family Works Manager Dawn Lloyd says being able to deliver the programme into Gore and Mataura will fill a much-needed void.

“Family Start is an incredibly valuable programme, with a very high rate of success when it comes to improving the lives of families both in Southland and nationally,” she says.
“The Ministry has identified a need for the programme in Gore and Mataura, and we are looking forward to working alongside families in this area to make a real difference.”

Family Works has delivered the Family Start programme since 2007, however until last year contracts have restricted it to families in Invercargill only. In October 2016, the programme was expanded to Te Anau and Manapouri (where there is already a wait list) and to families living within 30 minutes of Invercargill.

“There has been a need for Family Start in rural Southland for some time now, so it is pleasing that we can now offer this level of support in a number of areas outside of Invercargill,” Mrs Lloyd said. 

Gore and Mataura families are quickly availing themselves of this programme.

Family Start supports families early; accepting referrals from when a mother is first pregnant. There is a focus on strengthening and improving the parents’ skills for the benefit of the child, and the achievement of the family’s own goals. Families can stay in the programme until they have achieved their goals, the child’s wellbeing is enhanced, parents’ confidence is increased and living circumstances are improved.

To find out more about Family Start or if you think Family Start is for you, then click here or phone 0800 707 808.