South Otago Services

Working from Waihola to Clinton, our South Otago Child and Family Support Service team is overseen by a team leader and five experienced social workers/whānau workers.  

We also have someone who co-ordinates the Strengthening Families process by organising meetings when multiple agencies are involved with a family. This gets everyone in the room at the same time so the family only has to tell their story once.

For more information, please see the South Otago Brochure 


Family Start

Our Family Start programme is a free and voluntary home visiting programme that provides support to expectant parents and parents of newborn and young children. 

Our focus is the health, education, safety and development of the child and supporting parents to achieve their goals.

Family Start will help:

  • The child to grow strong, learn, stay healthy and have positive relationships,
  • Parents and caregivers to be more confident about caring for their child,
  • Whānau create a strong and positive future for their child

Our workers are committed to working alongside families advocating, affirming and supporting parents in making positive choices for themselves and their children.

For more information please see the Family Start Brochure, call 0800 FAM CARE or 03 418 2530.

Home-based Family Support

Our Home-based Family Support service involves working with parents/caregivers who want to develop and strengthen their parenting skills and confidence so that their children are able to reach their full potential.

Our social workers visit families in their own homes to:

  • Support child development, safety and well-being
  • Develop confidence in parenting skills and child management
  • Increase parent’s understanding of their children’s needs
  • Build on strengths and develop self-confidence
  • Link parents into community and support networks

For more information, please see the Home-based Family Support brochure,  call 0800 FAM CARE or 03 418 2530.

Family-Centred Service

A free home-based service that assists families/whānau who have been affected by whānau/family violence. This service is driven by the family/whānau, our role is to support the whānau/family to move towards their dreams and aspirations. We work with the family to begin the process of developing a whānau/family plan, including developing a safety plan together. We identify whānau/family strengths and strengthen or build relationships within the whānau/family and other networks the family is in.

Strengthening Families

We co-ordinate Strengthening Families. This is a coordinated community approach that helps families reach their potential. At the heart of the Strengthening Families process is a family/whānau having trouble coping with life’s challenges. It is a family/whānau with strengths, but it also has issues that require the involvement of multiple agencies. Strengthening Families brings together to family and all the agencies that have a part to play in helping the family/whānau achieve its desired outcomes.

Please see the Strengthening Families website for more information.

Restorative Justice

A community-based justice process that offers victims of a crime an opportunity to participate in addressing the harm done, and what can be done realistically by the offender to put things right. All referrals are received through the Justice system.


Meet our South Otago Team Leader, Katherine

Recently, we had a new face join us in our South Otago kapa (team), so we asked Katherine to tell us a bit about herself.

Posted: Sunday April 30, 2023

Grant received to support children and families in South Otago 

We are extremely grateful to The Trusts Community Foundation for a substantial grant to support our work with South Otago families in need. 

Posted: Tuesday February 13, 2018

SUPPORTIVE SATURDAY - Supporters on the Sidelines 

Our South Otago team are promoting positive sideline behaviour as part of their It's Not OK Campaign.

Posted: Friday June 2, 2017