Mana Whānau

Additional information

Sarah Scott
sscott@wesleyca.org.nz

Level 1, 6 Hagley St
PO Box 50 308
Porirua 5022

Mana Whānau is an intensive, in-home whānau support service for:

  • whānau who are at risk of having their children removed from their care
  • whānau who need support to have their children returned to their care.

Mana Whānau is a whānau-led, evidence-based service that works. It’s based on the belief that with the right support and resources, most whānau can care for their tamariki safely.

The service focuses on reducing toxic stressors to free up the ‘mental bandwidth’ that enables parents to care for their tamariki effectively, while building new skills and capabilities.  It is flexible and whānau-led, which means it looks different for everyone we work with - whānau drive the changes they want to make. Tamariki are the heart of Mana Whānau. Our goal is to support whānau to provide children with safe, warm, loving care.

How does Mana Whānau work?

Our kaimahi work alongside whānau for six months, supporting them to:

  • Reduce the stresses in their life so they have the time and headspace to focus on their tamariki while building their own skills
  • Get the practical help they and their tamariki need to have a safe and loving home
  • Work on their goals, commitments and priorities 
  • Find ways of working better with other services so they get more of what they need
  • Build their confidence, resilience and skills so they and their tamariki are set up for success even when things get tough
  • Build and strengthen relationships and connections with whānau and community so they don’t have to do all of this alone.

Who can get support through Mana Whānau?

Mana Whānau is for families who are at risk of having their tamariki removed from their care, as well as those needing support to have them returned home.

All referrals to the service are made by Oranga Tamariki.

Mana Whānau is voluntary. It works best for whānau who acknowledge the Oranga Tamariki concerns, are keen to make changes and want to work with us. 

How successful is Mana Whānau?

In September 2020, Point and Associates completed an independent evaluation of the first two years of Mana Whānau. They found that as at July 2020, a total of 39 out of 44 participating whānau (89%) had retained care of their tamariki, or had them safely returned to their care.  

In total, 130 tamariki (94% of those involved with the service) were living safely with their whānau. 

The five principles of Mana Whānau

  1. Maximise choices: We work with whānau to increase their options and create real choices.
  2. Whānau-led with tamariki at the heart: We support whānau to work on their goals and priorities, in an environment that ensures tamariki safety and wellbeing.
  3. Do what it takes:  Our service is focussed, intensive, flexible and tailored for each whānau.
  4. Reduce stress: We support whānau to reduce stresses in their life so they can focus on the skills and supports they need.
  5. Build skills and resilience: We work alongside whānau to build responsive parenting skills and develop whānau and community supports.