About Family Start

By Lucy Summers | Posted: Tuesday November 28, 2017

This nationally recognised programme helps families who are struggling with challenges that may make it harder for them to care for their baby or young child.

At any one time, we offer Family Start to more than 200 families in Otago. We have teams based in Dunedin, Balclutha, Oamaru and Alexandra. Our whānau workers also visit families in other towns and rural communities in the region.

Family Start is a voluntary programme that  focuses on helping parents do a great job with their child’s health, growth, education and safety.

A Family Start whānau worker usually begins to support babies and their parents or caregivers early – often before the baby’s birth or in his or her first year. 

A worker visits clients at home, starting with once a week, and gets to know the family and what they have already got sorted and what they need help with. They will work with parents and caregivers to help get the right health care for the child, explain how the baby is growing and changing at different ages, and help parents to work out what they want to achieve, change or improve, and how to make a plan to get there.

Whānau workers can also put families in touch with other services that will help to keep their baby or child safe. Referrals to Family Start can be made by parents themselves, healthcare professionals or other community workers. 

Call 03 477 0801 or 0800 FAM CARE or email enquiries@familycare.org.nz to find out more.