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Bernardos celebrates efforts towards better NZ for children

Barnardos New Zealand today hosted its 2018 Annual General Meeting at Rongamaraeroa, Te Papa Marae, commencing at 1pm. Barnardos’ AGM was a celebration of the organisation’s work over the past year supporting tamariki, rangatahi and their families and whānau. Hon Chris Hipkins, Minister of Education, was welcomed as guest speaker.

“Every day, all around Aotearoa, Barnardos is working towards our strategic vision of ‘An Aotearoa New Zealand where every child shines bright’. Our work across Barnardos Child and Family Social Services, Early Learning, and our systemic Advocacy all contributes to this vision. Our kaupapa means we are for all children, including the most marginalised and disadvantaged. This has always been core to Barnardos’ DNA. We are committed to the development and realisation of all children: Kia eke ai te hunga taitamariki ki nga rangi tūhāhā”, Barnardos Chief Executive Jeff Sanders says.

In 2018, Barnardos has improved the lives of 53,017 children, young people and their families – including 8,721 Māori tamariki and 1,937 Pasifika children.

The past year has been a significant one for Barnardos. It has seen the organisation’s early learning brand brought under the Barnardos brand umbrella again, and the strengthening of the Barnardos Early Learning philosophy. We worked closely with parents, caregivers and whānau to ensure our early learning services provide quality early learning in ways that best serve them in their local community. Over the past year, we have shown that by providing quality early learning, we are helping children develop the building blocks for positive brain development, social and emotional skills, helping children to shine bright through childhood and beyond.

This year Barnardos has helped support changes in the lives of children, family and whānau that can break cycles of poverty, violence, insecurity and hardship. We are helping make a change for brighter childhoods and brighter futures. Ensuring tamariki, rangatahi and their whānau are well supported when times are tough, Barnardos Child and Family Services has delivered a strong continuum of services: prevention services to provide help early and stop problems developing; intensive social services for children and families; and care services for tamariki and rangatahi who cannot be at home with their family or whānau for a time. Over the past year, we have applied our expertise and strengths in care services to establish new 1:1 specialist care placements for tamariki and rangatahi with high and complex needs, and a new community-based therapeutic home in Canterbury, in partnership with Oranga Tamariki and Te Rūnanga o Ngāi Tahu.

Alongside our direct service provision, Barnardos champions children’s rights and wellbeing through systemic Advocacy. This year we have advocated for legislative, policy and practice change on the biggest issues for tamariki, including mental health, child poverty reduction, safe and healthy housing, suicide prevention, family violence prevention, and for children and young people to participate in change on the issues that matter to them. By driving systemic change, Barnardos is helping build a culture where tamariki are valued, protected and respected, and families and whānau thrive.

Reflecting on Barnardos’ AGM today, Mr Sanders says “celebrating our mahi over the year past and reflecting also on what is still to be done, Barnardos is looking strongly towards the future, and a continued momentum towards Aotearoa New Zealand being a country where every child shines bright.”

The Barnardos New Zealand 2018 Annual Review, “We’re for Kiwi Kids” can be found on our website.

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