Our Stories


APRIL 2018


Next Step Training

A student enrolled in Foundation 1 last July. She had one Unit Standard left to complete to achieve Foundation 1 at the end of the year. She came back in 2018 and completed her Foundation 1 and NCEA 1 by March and is now enrolled in NCEA2 ECE. Her attendance is almost 100%, she communicates very well and she participates in course activities.

In 2017 we were concerned about her level of social participation with her fellow students but she has made huge strides and now plays an active part in the social part of the course.

Her tutors were also concerned last year that she did not seem to eat regularly. The student now has regular appointments with a counsellor and Pania is also working with her.

She has a study plan with a good understanding of how much she needs to achieve per week to complete her goals. In March 2018 her goals were to be working at Halfway Bush Kohanga by June and she knows she needs NCEA 2 to do this. As well, she is studying Te Reo at Kokiri and studying on Pathways Awarua towards her driver’s licence, both of which contribute towards her employment goals.


Story-reading Dads - Otago Corrections Facility

Rose, Andrew and Ana delivered the latest Story Reading Dads programme. The feedback from the participants was outstanding. Comments included:

  • "A positive way to interact in a loving way to show our kids, even though we are in jail, we still care and love them"
  • "I enjoyed making things for my girl so she knows I’m still there"
  • "Was good to speak to my son on the video"
  • "Being able to show my kids some love through reading to them"


Client Support Work

Scott self-referred to our service late last year as he was feeling frustrated about not being included in the plans and decision making around his 2 teenage boys. The boys lived with their Mum who was having difficulty managing their challenging behaviours. The boys were truanting, getting into trouble and had come to the attention of Oranga Tamariki and the Police. Because the boys lived with their Mum, all the professional supports were focused on Mum and her needs. Scott felt this was unfair as he had a lot to offer as their father but no one was interested in what he had to say. Scott had begun to seek legal advice. Scott’s relationship with his ex-partner ended a few years ago and the interaction between them both was changeable.

Scott told the client support worker he had access with the boys every second weekend and was a ‘present’ father in their lives. Scott’s family were very supportive of him and very inclusive of the boys; he said he had a good relationship with his boys stating ‘overall they are good in his care and will do what is asked’. Scott had spoken to his boys about their behaviours and they had told him they wanted to live with him but Scott felt that every time he brought this up with his ex-partner and the professional services involved he would be ‘shut down’ or pushed to the side.

He believed coming to our office was his ‘last resort’ stating he needed to do something before his sons end up in prison - not what he wants for his boys.Scott and his family felt no one at Oranga Tamariki or the Police were listening to him or taking him seriously and on the other hand they felt ‘used’ as they were not part of the decision making but they were part of the ‘back up plan’ ie, if Mum needed help she could ring Scott and/or his family to intervene. Scott affirmed he is always there for the boys and he has been there as a ‘back up’ when needed. He said he was more than happy to ‘step up to the plate’ and have his boys in his care before they ‘fall off the rails’.

Our work around the family has been to support Scott at meetings, and to advocate for him where he felt overwhelmed by professionals who didn’t think he was capable of caring for his sons. It has also been about fostering a working relationship between Scott and his ex-partner as they are both want the best for their boys.

The outcome for Scott is he now has the care of the boys. They are attending an educational course and no longer getting themselves into trouble. Scott has not had any phone calls from the Police and he reports the boys are behaving when they spend time with their Mother. The strengths this father has shown are his perseverance and commitment to his sons in the face of adversity.


Dunedin Little Citizens (Client Support Work):

John self-referred to us, identifying his need for parenting support. During the initial assessment he also described a difficult relationship between himself and his partner.

John and his partner live rurally, with their 3 biological children (two girls and a boy, aged from 5-10) and his partner’s 15-year-old daughter. They felt they needed strategies to work with their 8-year-old son, whom John said was often the cause of inter-sibling physical fights, and whose difficulties with emotional regulation caused significant stress in the family.

The work here involved supporting John and his partner to be able to put into practice strategies which Marcus their 8 year old believed would work for him; to assist parents and child to find common goals and common ways of working towards them.

Through working with us the family said that they were better able to identify individual areas to work on (such as Marcus being able tto go to bed on time and without argument), and that they benefitted from the flow-on effect once this goal was achieved.

At the end of our time together Marcus and his parents reported that life as a whole was significantly better than when we firtst met, and that Marcus was better at managing his own behaviours.

This family showed a commitment to working with each other in a supportive and collaborative fashion, and an ability to focus on the problem rather than the person.


Early Years Hub - One Mum's Story

"I first discovered the Hub five years ago when I attended an antenatal breastfeeding class. Shortly after the birth of my son I came back to the Hub to see the ladies at the Breastroom. They were so helpful that I decided to become a breastfeeding peer supporter myself. It is at that time that I became familiar with the Hub and the range of activities and services on offer. In the five years that have gone by, I have been a regular user of the Hub through the peer supporters group but I also attended a wider range of groups such as the koru international Playgroup.

My family got bigger and I now have 3 boys ranging from 4 years old to 11 months old. They all enjoy coming to the Hub. We regularly make good use of the toy room, making special trips to the Hub even though we live in the north end of town. The Hub is a wonderful friendly place to hang out and meet friends both for myself and my children. The people who work here are friendly, kind and always willing to help. The Free Exchange area for clothes and toys are wonderful in our busy materialism obsessed world. All in all, the Hub is a little oasis for mums and bubs, and beyond. I am ever so grateful to all the people making it possible."


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