As we complete the first year of our Strategic Plan 2017-2020, I am very pleased with our achievements to date. Our plan included seven Strategic Objectives over the three year period and when I consider each of them, I believe we have made significant progress toward achieving most of these goals.
In consultation with our members we have completely reviewed our membership structure in terms of the group support for caregivers. The aim is to ensure all caregiver members are able to access peer support and to broaden their choice as individual members. Fostering Kids New Zealand felt strongly that, with well over 5000 members, this restructure would best represent each individual. I want to thank our members for their support of these changes. In line with this, the Board has spent considerable time reviewing our Constitution toward the same Strategic Goal of Empowerment and Support of Members and their Families. Again, the aim is to ensure the voice of Individual Members is strongly represented and I am confident these changes are positive for our growing membership.
We are also incredibly pleased with the progress of our objective to Increase the Understanding of Therapeutic Parenting with Level One of our LIFT (Levels of Integrated Family Therapy) programme based on DDP (Dyadic Development Practice/Psychotherapy), launched and being tested across New Zealand, so far we have delivered this in Wellington, Tauranga, Invercargill, New Plymouth and currently in Christchurch. This was only possible with the generous support of some very caring supporters for whom we are all incredibly grateful. I also want to thank Oranga Tamariki for enabling 55 of their caregivers to complete this training and support programme.
“Learning a new way to parent. I have learnt so much and it is invaluable. … This programme saved our relationship and the placement. The support was fabulous.”
“Being able to connect better when dealing with behaviours, recognising/accepting child better with his feelings”.
I want to acknowledge our highly committed and passionate Board who have set a firm pathway toward achieving our Vision that Every Care Family is Empowered, Supported and Trained to Provide a Safe and Nurturing Home. Also, a very big thank you to our highly dedicated and skilled team of staff and volunteers who work diligently toward delivering on this Vision. There are numerous volunteers who give freely of their time and knowledge who are without a doubt the very backbone of our organisation and our Country.
It has been a big year for Fostering Kids New Zealand as we have worked hard toward being the very best we can be. With significant changes in the care landscape we have diversified and strengthened our commitment to care families. We maintained a strong focus on individual caregivers and the care family. All children are raised by families within communities and in New Zealand we have strong examples of this, particularly with our Māori Whānau/Kin and Iwi. Our organisation is committed to strengthening this connection for our tamariki(children) in care.
This has been one of the most significant years in our care history as Oranga Tamariki, Ministry for Children completes its first year as a newly established Ministry. We are very pleased to see the introduction of some high level roles to focus on care. We hope this will provide much needed improvement to the overall experience of care by all involved. Another area we are keen to see develop is the understanding of attachment and the impact of trauma by Social Workers and Teachers. We are actively working on this and are encouraged by the number of these professionals registering for our Regional Hui’s with a therapeutic theme around New Zealand.
Again, I want to thank our financial supporters, our team and our Board. Together we are making great progress. To all our members goes my deepest gratitude for your support of our organisation and most importantly for the difference you make every day. I look forward with great expectations to another fruitful year ahead.
Noho ora mai/Stay well
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