Kia ora whānau! Welcome to our part of the website dedicated to providing information to you from a Māori perspective.
Just to conclude our mihi here is our korero explaining why we have this 'Taha Māori´ section
We hope you will take some time to explore our site and also to listen to some of the video korero from our whānau in OHF.
Te Whare Kaupapa Āwhina (Open Home Foundation) is committed to providing services to whānau Māori that promote whānau mauri ora and strengthens whānau, hapū and iwi. We do this through policies and practice.
The traditional role of ‘Kaitiaki´ (guardian) is the most potent expression in Māoridom of the importance of all living things, including the fact that the care and protection of tamariki is paramount. Te Whare Kaupapa Āwhina (TWKA) holds the belief that whakapapa and whangai relationships should take preference over non-whānau care because the true kaitiakitanga belongs to whānau, hapū and iwi of the tamariki concerned.Te Whare Kaupapa Āwhina believes that the best outcomes for tamariki Māori are achieved when they are cared for and protected within their own whānau. This belief has guided the development of our kaitiakitanga processes to help whānau Māori to meet their care and protection needs.
Te Whare Kaupapa Āwhina social workers work alongside whānau to focus on what’s working well with the view to increase safety for the tamariki in their care. Our social workers and whānau can access cultural support from Te Ahurea Pūtahi, our cultural Services team including whānau hui facilitation and Marae based hui.
TWKA is committed to working in partnership with whānau, hapū and iwi to provide care and protection solutions for their own tamariki.
Tamariki have a right to experience safety, nurture and have a sense of belonging within a whānau setting and wherever possible should be within their immediate or wider whānau.
When care and protection concerns arise that necessitates securing safety for a child by removing them from their Mum and Dad (or the person usually having the care of the child) TWKA/OHF will support whānau to explore first options for a placement within the whānau or wider family.
The TWKA Kinship Care model is a partnership between TWKA/OHF and Kin to provide a home for a child who cannot live with their Mum or Dad. OHF and whānau or wider family work together to provide care and protection for the tamariki. The kin carer is identified and endorsed to provide care for a specific child, based on their pre-existing relationship.
OHF social workers support whānau through the care and protection processes under the CYP&F Act 1989.
Manaaki Whānau is an TWKA/OHF support service offered to caregivers and whānau carers who are caring for tamariki and mokopuna through Ministry for Vulnerable Children, Oranga Tamariki (MVCOT). This service is designed to provide kaupapa Māori support to whānau through the use of Te Aho Takitoru, to improve the stability of placements and prevent placements from breaking down.
Currently this is only offered in Auckland.
When there is no apparent whānau options to provide care, OHF social workers will explore wider whānau, hapū or even iwi networks. However there are times when tamariki Māori need immediate care which should ideally be provided by TWKA Māori foster parents.
There is a great need for Māori foster parents in TWKA/OHF. Māori foster parents can relate more closely with the cultural needs of tamariki and nurture their sense of belonging to whānau. Māori foster parents can often help build safer ongoing connections to a tamariki Māori’s own whānau, hapū and iwi. Read more about how to Foster For Us.
Both non Māori social workers and foster parents have some cultural training and are aware of the bi-cultural policies of Te Whare Kaupapa Āwhina. Care plans for a Māori child in their care will include access both to their extended whānau as well as plans to ensure their cultural identity is cared for.