Tuesday, June 15, 2021

Whānau at heart of new early parenthood care model

Up to 60 whānau in Counties Manukau will be supported through the first three years of parenthood by a new whānau-centred model of care, said Associate Health Minister, Aupito William Sio today.

“Providing this support to young parents is something we have to get right. It’s a priority both for me and the Government. We strongly believe that taking a whānau-centred approach will achieve the best for our tamariki,” the Minister said.

“The new approach draws inspiration from the concept shared across the Pacific  of the entire village responding to the needs of mothers and their children. Most importantly, it provides continuity of care based on whakawhanaungatanga, which means building and fostering meaningful relationships.”

The new model is being piloted by Well Child Tamariki Ora service provider South Seas Healthcare Trust.

The young parents, within the pilot and their whānau will be supported by a South Seas key worker, who will be a Well Child Tamariki Ora nurse, kaiāwhina or social worker. The worker will liaise with a multidisciplinary team to ensure the parents and their whānau receive the support they need.

“I am delighted that this model will support the young parents and whānau within the pilot with health care; mental health support; assistance to access social services, housing or education; and helping whānau members learn more about parenting and child development,” Minister Sio said.

The initiative is the second of three pilots being funded as part of the $10 million Mental Wellbeing Package within Budget 2019 to provide enhanced support for young parents and their whānau.

“The Enhanced Support Pilots follow on from a trial carried out in Hawke’s Bay in 2011, which resulted in improved health outcomes for young mothers and their families. The pilots have the potential to be a major step forward in terms of addressing health and social inequalities for children and whānau of young parents.

“The Counties Manukau DHB area was chosen for the South Seas pilot because it has a high proportion of young parents, Māori and Pacific whānau, and whānau who live with high socioeconomic needs. These are exactly the people in our community who need this  extra help,” said Minister Sio.

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