Our Story

The Open Home Foundation/Te Whare Kaupapa Āwhina of New Zealand (OHF/TWKĀ) was established in 1977 by Ewen and Gillian Laurenson. Following their difficult experience in running a Social Welfare family home, they began to develop a network of Christian foster families as an alternative for children/tamariki and young people/rangatahi placed in Department of Social Welfare care.

The work began in the Laurensons’ Johnsonville home with a small group of supporters and within a short period of time it began to develop in other parts of New Zealand. In 1986, because of rapid growth, OHF/TWKĀ became a national organisation.

In 1995, both Ewen and Gillian were awarded the Queen’s Service Medal for their service to Foster Care in New Zealand

In 1991, OHF was invited to begin a ministry in India. This led to the development of Open Home Foundation International (OHFI) run by Ewen and Gillian. In 2012, Ewen Laurenson stepped down from being the Director of OHFI. They currently work in partnership with people and organisations in India, Romania, Uganda, Rwanda, Zambia and other countries.

To find out more about the international work, you can visit their website: www.ohfint.co.nz

OHF Today

The Open Home Foundation of New Zealand is a Child and Family Support Service that works within the provisions of the Oranga Tamariki Act 1989.

Open Home Foundation staff and volunteers are from a variety of Christian Church denominations. We respect the diversity of belief and ethnicity found within our nation.

We encourage children/tamariki and parents to be proud of their family/whānau and cultural heritage. In particular, we have a commitment to work in a manner which is honouring to Māori, and reflects the Treaty of Waitangi. See Taha Māori.

Open Home Foundation’s values and beliefs guide the way its staff and volunteers work supporting families/whānau, caring for children/tamariki and promoting family/whānau wellbeing mauri ora.