`Whānau Ora Minister Peeni Henare has welcomed the findings of a review to improve how the Government supports whānau and families to achieve wellbeing.
A Summary of the overall Whānau Ora Review findings
The Independent Whānau Ora Review Panel established that the Whānau Ora commissioning approach is a successful model for creating positive change for whānau and families and that the conditions were in place for this change to be sustainable. They underscored that across all areas they visited and across all reports they had reviewed whānau and families were progressing towards achieving their self-identified priorities.
The Independent Whānau Ora Review Panel highlighted that there were a number of features that contributed to the success of Whānau Ora commissioning model, these features included:
That it is culturally anchored, whānau centred, strength based approach;
That it is flexible and allows whānau to be supported on issues that are most important to them;
That there is a high level of support provided by Commissioning Agencies to Whānau Ora Partners, Providers and Whānau entities; and
That it has a supportive, committed and passionate workforce who are able to connect with the whānau they work with and are invested in the success of their communities.
There were a number of challenges within the commissioning model and the wider environment in which it operates, these include:
The extent of the geographic area that each Commissioning Agency services impacts on its ability to remain closely connected to their constituent whānau and communities;
Each Commissioning Agency has had to invest in bespoke administrative arrangements to support the delivery and accountability of Whānau Ora;
Demand for Whānau Ora outstrips the funding and resources available to Whānau Ora Partners, Providers and Whānau entities. In some area, the level of demand was overwhelming, and fundamentally impacted on the approach taken my providers, from being aspiration focused to providing short-term crisis-based interventions.
There were issues for Whānau Ora Partners, Providers and Whānau entities predominantly around funding concerns;
Among government agencies (in Wellington) there were issues understanding Whānau Ora (what it is, how it works, how they could support Whānau Ora Commissioning), leaving them hesitant and questioning its validity and robustness as an agreed government approach;
The limited extent of ‘buy-in’ and uptake of Whānau Ora among government agencies; and
Central government agencies opting out of their own responsibilities by getting and expecting Whānau Ora Partners to meet their service delivery responsibilities.
The Independent Whānau Ora Review Panel has recommended that Government should:
Continue to grow the investment in the Whānau Ora commissioning approach
Ensure that government agencies meet their own service delivery responsibilities, and commit to engaging with Whānau Ora;
Extend the effort of Te Puni Kokiri to provide a greater sense of leadership of Whānau Ora within government, and to better support other agencies to engage in Whānau Ora;
Encourage Commissioning Agencies to co-invest where they have mutual interest, and invest in getting closer to their communities; and
Focus Whānau Ora Partners and provides on the intent of Whānau Ora: which is to support whānau and families to find their own pathways to building resilience and capability to be self-managing and to be the architects of their own futures.