Open Home Foundation has developed a Social Work Kaupapa that reflects its commitment to working collaboratively with families and whānau in a strengths based and culturally appropriate way that prioritizes child safety and promotes family well-being/whānau mauri ora.

+ Factor

The Open Home Foundation social work staff have a common belief in Christ and a commitment to providing a professional social work service that reflects an integration of their faith and professional skills.  

Open Home Foundation’s engagement in social service comes from a perspective and long tradition of Christian social action where we place Jesus Christ at the centre of each intervention into the life of the family/whānau. Because of this centrality of Christ, we expect and experience evidence in our social service of God creating a spiritual environment which encourages safety, healing and positive change. 

This is the + Factor. The OHF Christian Approach to Social Work has a Christ centred and biblically based world view that includes the following frameworks of social work practice: Signs of Safety; Strengths; Solution Focused; Narrative; and Ecosystem.

Te Aho Takitoru

Te Aho Takitoru supports whānau on a Journey of Hope to discover their rangatiratanga (ability) to make the changes they believe necessary to promote whānau wellbeing.

This journey is taken in three stages:
Powhiri (engagement in collaborative partnership);
Hui (addressing the issues together), and
Waka (undertaking their planned journey of change).

A Kōpū (matrix) of nine Te Ao Māori life principles Tapu, Whakapapa, Tūmanako, Houhanga Rongo, Mauri Īhu, Aroha, Kotahitanga, Mana and Whakapono is used to provide whānau with a framework to shape their perspective about the problem and its solution.

Te Aho Takitoru enables social workers to work with whānau Māori in a culturally appropriate manner using intervention strategies generated from Māori knowledge and world-view.

Signs of Safety

Signs of Safety is a social work practice framework developed by Andrew Turnell and Steve Edwards, and adopted by Open Home Foundation.  Andrew is an independent Social Worker, Family Therapist, and Child Protection Consultant who lives in Perth. Open Home Foundation maintains a relationship with him in a training and mentoring capacity. The Signs of Safety framework assists Social Workers and family/whānau to process and organise the information gathered in the assessment and on an ongoing basis throughout the work with the family/whānau. 

This framework seeks to identify the family/whānau strengths and resources and utilise these to improve safety and manage the concerns or dangers that are identified. Searching for detail is critical. The Social Worker maintains the position that the family/whānau is capable of change and is open minded, approaching them as partners in building safety for their children and young people. 

By acknowledging the concerns and desires of the family/whānau, a solution orientated and safety focused outcome can be achieved.

Appreciative Inquiry

Appreciative Inquiry is used in conjunction with Signs of Safety.  Appreciative Inquiry explores with the person “what has gone well?” We are all good at talking about what does not work but every family/whānau will have something that is working well and identifying this gives the opportunity to build on their knowledge and experience of the present situation. 

Exploring the detail of what is working well can reinforce a different way of responding and behaving towards the family/whānau and reinforces for the family/whānau the position that Open Home Foundation wants to acknowledge what is going well.  By focusing on change and searching for the detail through the use of appreciative inquiry, social workers will work with the family/whānau towards establishing obtainable goals and building collaboration.

Appreciative Inquiry is also used in supervision and working with OHF foster parents.