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MAY 6 - 2014

KAIPARA LIFESTYLER

Door is open to family assistance

Support worker reckons she’s privileged

 by Joanne Speechly

 by Joanne Speechly

Strengthening Families began operating in the Kaipara in 2007 and in that time, coordinator Bethne Smith has helped hundreds of families to reach their potential.

Otamatea Community Services has welcomed new family support worker Lianne Wilson to their team.

Bethne works with families who are already connected to other agencies and says her role is to get everybody on the same page. “I’m the in-between person. I find out what the agencies need, what the family needs and I coordinate that process. The reason it is working so well in the Kaipara, is because our social service agencies are committed to working together and achieving results. “Ninety nine per cent of the families I see have a passion to do  Strengthening Families coordinator Bethne Smith says self-referrals are always welcome, “Just better for their children and that knock on the door and come in for a chat” is why they come my way — they need help.” opened their homes to grandchildren, Strengthening Families is run in a who may come with their own issues. “I also see parents fighting to way that meets the unique needs of each family and the aim is to offer help get the best for their children and before a family reaches crisis point. The I see kids grasping whatever they service was first trialled in New Zealand can to make their life better and in the 1990s and since 1996, more just running with it, so I’m really, than 37,000 children and young people really lucky.” Strengthening Families is based have been involved in Strengthening at KAPs family service centre, 2 Families cases. “I get to meet the everyday heroes,” Station Road, Dargaville or phone adds Bethne. “Grandparents who have Bethne on 09 439 7336, email raised their own children and have now bethne4families@xtra.co.nz. 

 Lianne Wilson — ‘a journey with clients’

Lianne, who previously worked in the sector for five years in rehabilitation, live-in-care and supported housing, says she feels “privileged to be able to visit homes and spend time with people.” “Liane called in to see us at Community House in Maungaturoto, introduced herself and asked about our services,” says administrator, Elizabeth Ludlam. “She was interested to learn of the counselling and parent coach work but the role that really gripped her attention was that of Family Support.

When a vacancy occurred fairly soon after her visit, Lianne was back to ask more questions.” It was a clear match and since beginning with OCS in March, Lianne has completed Child Protection training, a rigorous 10 day budgeting programme and she has recently completed a three month part-time literacy and numeracy course. Lianne hopes that she can journey with the client families until they reach their potential, thus turning setbacks into comebacks. 

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Kaipara Lifestyler, May 6 2014  

Kaipara's only regional community newspaper. 10,000 copies delivered FREE throughout the Kaipara: Dargaville, Ruawai, Paparoa, Matakohe, Mau...

Kaipara Lifestyler, May 6 2014  

Kaipara's only regional community newspaper. 10,000 copies delivered FREE throughout the Kaipara: Dargaville, Ruawai, Paparoa, Matakohe, Mau...