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Report supports Whānau Ora

Report supports Whānau Ora

The chair of the North Island Whānau Ora Commissioning Agency commented today on the Productivity Commission’s report on more effective social services.

“The report clearly demonstrates the value and efficacy of Whānau Ora and our commissioning for outcomes approach,” said Merepeka Raukawa-Tait.

Te Pou Matakana (TPM) was launched in July 2014 as part of the government’s decision to move the funding and funding decisions for Whānau Ora closer to the community.

“Whānau are at the centre of everything we do. We work with whānau and providers to identify whānau needs and co-design services to meet those needs,” said Ms Raukawa-Tait.

Finding 13.2 in the report states, “Whānau Ora embodies concepts important to Māori and holds much potential to improve Māori wellbeing and mana whakahaere.”

It further states, “It would be strengthened by a dedicated budget based on assessed needs for a defined population; sufficient decision rights over the budget, effective resource allocation to where resources can have the most effect; and improved accountability for results.”

“The inquiry confirms that the Whānau Ora approach is working. But more support from government agencies will be required for Whānau Ora to have the impact that is needed for families to achieve their goals and aspirations,” said Ms Raukawa-Tait.

Recommendation 10.2 states, “to address the needs of the most disadvantaged New Zealanders, the Government should devolve authority over adequate resources to providers close to clients. To be effective, this devolution would require an adaptive, client-centred approach to service design, agencies to have responsibility for a defined population, clear accountability for improving client outcomes, a way of prioritising the use of resources, and an information system to support decision making.”

“We know our approach is achieving real and sustainable outcomes for whānau. We have a world class IT system, (Whānau Tahi), backed by embedded specialists in research who can measure and report on outcomes in real time,” said Ms Raukawa-Tait.

TPM has released a document today for public consultation that looks at how it cam refine and improve its Outcomes Framework. An Outcomes Framework is a set of tools and processes that enables TPM to collect data to prove that its approach is having the impact it needs to have, and to improve outcomes for whānau.

“Our approach as outlined in our Outcomes Roadmap shows that we are in step with the views and recommendations of the Productivity Commission.”

TPM has committed to four principles in commissioning for outcomes:

1. Exploring needs and assets to build a picture of what works and current strengths, as well as examining what support may be required, by using a range of methods to develop insights and apply these during the commissioning process.

2. Promoting innovation by moving away from over-specified services and asking providers and whānau to define their own unique pathways to achieve their own outcomes.

3. Putting co-production and co-design at the heart of commissioning to support providers to co-produce their services.

4. Having an iterative and adaptive approach that requires continuous reflection, evaluation and flexibility for services to adapt to the interests, needs and assets of whānau.

5. Growing co-investment by encouraging a range or Whānau Ora Partners to partner with TPM and commit new resources to address the needs and build on the strengths of whānau.

TPM supports families through 3 main programmes, Kaiārahi (Navigators) Whānau Direct and Collective Impact.

Almost 3,000 families were supported by Whānau Direct from 1 September 2014 to 30 April 2015.

Whānau Direct is a resource that Whānau Ora providers can access to help families achieve immediate outcomes.

“Family stories show how a small investment can make an immediate positive difference for families,” said Ms Raukawa-Tait.

Sarah is a mother of four children who lost all of her material possessions in a house fire, including her laptop which had all of her assignments, work and business documents. Sarah had no home or contents insurance. She needed a laptop to complete her studies and earn extra money doing parttime administration work.

“This was a turning point in my life, to remember the positive things after hitting rock bottom. You know, a laptop may seem like an extravagant item, but for me it is my primary tool for work and studies. I am so thankful,” said Sarah.

Mary is 25 years old and has four children. She wanted to start her own business designing and making kids’ furniture. She developed a business plan and with Whānau Direct support was able to buy the necessary tools to start her furniture-making business.

“There was nowhere else I could get support. This has given me the kick-start I needed to get my business up and running,” said Mary.


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