top of page

Family Start Newsletter

Updated: Aug 17, 2019

Tena Koutou Katoa,

It was wonderful to connect with so many of you at the Family Start 20th Anniversary conference held recently in Auckland. The professional development and networking opportunities were invaluable. This is to bring a few important changes to your attention and to let you know about some additional resources available to support you in the work you do. Please forward this note to others in your organisation who may be interested in seeing it. Feedback will be welcomed!

Changes to the Information Sharing Provisions in the Oranga Tamariki Act (1989) as of 1 July 2019

New information sharing provisions which have implications for Family Start workers came into force on 1 July. The provisions cover what information can be shared, and for what purposes, right across the child, welfare and protection sector. The new provisions apply to a broad range of people working with children and young people. This includes NGO’s, district health boards, health practitioners and children’s workers as well as government agencies, early learning services, community housing providers and school boards. For a more detailed look at what these new provisions mean and what information can now be shared more easily please refer to this link.

Oranga Tamariki Practice Centre

We have refreshed and relaunched our Practice Centre, which is an online resource for Oranga Tamariki practitioners, our partner organisations and the public, including parents, family/whānau and caregivers. It has been redesigned to make information easier to find and understand. The site is mobile friendly and has improved search function. Some topics likely to be of particular interest to Family Start workers are Te Toku Tu Moana, a framework for working effectively with Maori; Vaaifetu a guide to help achieve best outcomes for children of Pacific descent; and sections on Assessment & Planning. The Practice centre can be found at

Incredible Years Autism

Since 2017, Ministry of Education has been delivering the Incredible Years Autism; it is a 14 session, group-based programme for parents of children aged 2–5 on the autism spectrum. By supporting the skills and confidence of the key adults in the lives of children on the autism spectrum, it aims to promote children’s emotional regulation, positive social interactions, language development and relationships with others. Here is the link for more information about Incredible Years Autism programme and where it is offered.

Support for parents with multiple births

Work and Income Multiple Birth Home Help Payments are available to help families of twins or multiple children with the cost of home help to complete tasks in the home. Parents of twins can get 240 hours help with a designated home helper, over 12 months and this benefit is not means tested. Whanau are eligible to apply if they have given birth to twins or adopted twins and have another child under the age of five years old.

For providers to assist whanau in making full use of this valuable support, some details including the MSD application process can be found in the links below.

10 views0 comments
bottom of page