Family Start

Family Start is a weekly home visiting programme that focuses on improving children’s growth and health, learning and relationships, family circumstances, environment and safety. 

It helps families/whānau who are struggling with challenges or problems that may make it harder for them to care for their baby or young child. 

Family Start will begin to support babies and their parents/caregivers early—before the baby’s birth or in their first year. 

Family Start will help:

• the child grow strong, learn, stay healthy and have positive relationships

• parents/caregivers to be more confident about caring for their child

• families/whānau create a strong and positive future for their child

When should I contact Family Start?

It’s better to get help as soon as you can. 

We can start any time from when the Mama is in her second trimester (3 months) until the child’s second birthday. Even if a child is a bit older, we might still be able to help. We can keep working with you and your whanau until your child goes to school, if you need it.

We can also work with children past the age of 5 if these children are referred to the Te Waka Tamariki and meet eligibility requirements. Click here to learn more about Te Waka Tamariki.

How does Family Start work and help me?

A Family Start whānau worker will:

  • visit you at home on a weekly basis, getting to know you, your child and your family/whanau

  • support you to set goals for yourself, your baby and your whanau; which could work toward your problem solving

  • walk you through the parenting programme ‘Parenting Resources’ which provides a wealth of information, e.g. teething, toileting, 

  • provide information on the ages and stages of your baby

  • offer you advice about the importance of immunisation and support your freedom to choose whether you immunize

  • ensure you have support for baby’s Well Child checks

  • also support you to enroll baby in Oral hygiene

  • advocate on behalf e.g. ensure you are receiving your full entitlement if you are on a benefit; support you with finding housing etc

Family Start is not an alternative to emergency or crisis help from other organisations, but may well work with other agencies and professionals to support you in caring for your child. Go to our links page to see more agencies helping families/whānau in Hamilton.

How can I get help?

If you or the child’s other parent/caregiver have
any of these challenges and this is making
parenting harder, Family Start may be able to help.

• mental health issues
• drinking, using drugs or gambling too much
• abuse when you were a child
• serious problems with your partner or family/
• don’t know how to make sure your child is
  healthy and growing strong
• your child has a disability or needs special care
• Child Youth and Family (CYFS) now known as      

  Oranga Tamariki are or have been involved with   

  your family/whānau
• you are a young parent with other challenges
  and need extra support.

Make a referral to Family Start

"Family Start have always been friendly and supportive to me and my family."

~ Marge (pictured with Angelica)