North West News – March 2017

Message from Teena

Tēnā koutou

March is special as it holds Foster Care Awareness Week and a chance to celebrate some wonderful caregivers at the Foster Care Excellence Awards in Wellington on the 10th March.  Many events around the country will be held during this week 6th – 11th March to help raise awareness of the great and important role you do.

Recently I was able to attend the ‘Assisting Troubled Children’ Conference with Dr Dave Ziegler (United States). Dr Ziegler shared his wealth of insight, wisdom and practice experience regarding the ground breaking therapeutic treatment residences he established for some of the most challenged children in the American care system. Much of his approach is very pragmatic (born out of research). For example, he talked about the importance of aerobic exercise and relaxation classes for children in care. Dr Ziegler explained this as a way to support the healthy functioning of the brain by developing dopamine as opposed to the high levels of ephedrine and adrenaline traumatised children are often ‘running on’. He also shared that it’s so important that children are taught techniques to calm themselves as this is a skill they do not come into care with.  I would love to hear your experiences if you are already using some of these techniques in your situation, so we can encourage others.

Talking about this, I’d love to have a small section in the newsletter where caregivers in our local region could share short examples of ‘what’s working well’ in the care of their children. Let me know if you have something, together we might condense it to about 80 words.


Nga mihi

Email Teena
06 281 1642
027 285 6015


Association Information

Taranaki Caregiver Association Key Contact: Heather Pryor (Stratford) Available for peer support, queries and questions welcome. (Best after 3.30pm) Mobile: 0277777615

Noeline Smith – (Whanganui Association) has a new email:

Vacancy: Taranaki Caregiver Support/Network Group New Plymouth (Voluntary): We currently have a person exploring the Key Contact Position but still need a few people who are interested in working together as a team to build an active Caregiver Association in Taranaki. Fostering Kids NZ provide support and funding for events and activities the Association decide to facilitate for all Foster/Whanau/Kin caregivers in that area.

Contact Teena if you are interested or would like to know more (0272856015).




We will be celebrating Foster Care Awareness Week by having a Caregiver Training Workshop on Wednesday 8th March 2017 – 9am to 3pm at Taumarunui, CYF Family Home, 374 Taupo Road, Taumarunui

Attending the workshop will be: Site Manager – Ray Wiley, Practice Leader – Tracy Kelly, Care Services Manager – Janice Hemi, Fostering Kids NZ Trainer – Teena Bennett

Finger food lunch provided.

Register here


Child, Youth and Family inconjunction with Fostering Kids NZ and Open Home Foundation invite you to celebrate with us.

Foster Care Awareness Week at Brooklands  Zoo, New Plymouth. It’s a pizza picnic with activities! (BYO picnic blanket and drink).

On:  Sunday 05 March 2017; 12pm-2pm

Please RSVP with number of attendees and your cellphone details in case it’s a rainy day to: Malavai P-Misikei

Email: If we need to postpone we will text you by 10:30am.

Invitation to all ‘Gummies’ – a message from Stella

Are you a Grandparent in a Mum/Dad role? Being a grandparent raising a grandchild (or grandchildren) is a tough road – one only others travelling it understand. There are many of us in Taranaki who live with the pros and cons and the complex emotions of this journey. Recently, a few of us got together and, with the support of Teena Bennett from Fostering Kids NZ, decided to unite in a group we call ‘Gummies!’

Every six weeks we get together to provide support and information – including the Government entitlements, too many are missing out on because ‘we just don’t know’. It is good to talk about it and realise others have similar problems. Remember we are a village filled with years of experience and ‘pearls of wisdom’ that could be a treasure for someone in need. We welcome new people at our events – hope to see you at the next meeting

United We Stand!  Stella

Contact and queries to: Teena Bennett – Fostering Kids NZ

Phone or txt: 0272856015 (Mon – Wed between 9.00am & 3.00pm)

Next meeting: Wednesday 29th March – 1.00pm

Advance notice: Regional Hui in Whanganui – May 2017

Speakers will be focusing on; developing the strength of Caregivers and the challenging issues of care. More information in the April newsletter. PETROL VOUCHERS WILL BE PROVIDED TO ASSIST WITH TRAVEL COSTS FOR NEW PLYMOUTH AND TAUMARUNUI CAREGIVERS – LUNCH PROVIDED – SPOT PRIZES.

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