The pair is referred to whānau members who have been perpetrators of family harm. When going out into the community to action the referrals, they’ve used the Whānau Ora hygiene packs as a koha to break down barriers.
“We’re reaching some of our most poverty-stricken whānau,” says Chrissy. “So, to be able to have a couple of care packs in the car when we go into whānau homes has been a welcome addition to our service. Obviously, we’re seeking engagement from the person who’s been referred to us. However, it’s been an all-of-whānau approach, which is a win-win as far as we’re concerned.”
Chrissy says one of the hardest parts of their role is gaining trust with whānau they deal with.
“We do cell visits every morning and when we tell them we’re from Te Arawa Whānau Ora, we’ve had people say to us, ‘yes, I had assistance with my power bill through Whānau Direct during lockdown’. And that helps Fred and I achieve buy-in. It’s just a very appropriate way to achieve that trust and it’s about the special space that is Whānau Ora.”
Fred has been doing the mahi for the past six weeks and Chrissy says it’s been great to be able to orientate her new colleague.
“Although COVID-19 restrictions have affected how we work, we've been able to re-commence with referrals from police and the whānau are still very appreciative of us conducting cell visits. There’s also a link-in with the help they’ve been offered through Whānau Direct over the lockdown. That’s a really strong connection for us. I’m looking forward to getting back into it, especially with Fred on board.”
Chrissy and Fred received the following message of gratitude in te reo Māori.
*We have removed the whānau name to protect their privacy.
Tēnā Koutou Katoa
kei te tuku mihi maioha mātou te *whānau
ki a koutou e Te Arawa Whānau Ora, ōtirā ki a koe e Chrissy and Fred
mo tēnei āwhina tino nui.
Kare he manaakitanga tū atu ki tēnei.
I whakatau te awangawanga i ahau mo
te whānau i waenganui o te ngangara COVID-19.
Ko kī te pātaka, ko utu ate hiko
Noho ora mai hoki,
The *family send their most heartfelt thanks
to Te Arawa Whanau Ora, especially Chrissy and Fred
for the huge help.
I have the utmost respect, my family and I can rest easy
while in this turmoil of COVID-19, knowing
the cupboards are full, and the power paid.
Stay safe and well,