Family Start

Family Start is a free service, visiting homes to support parents and caregivers in promoting the health, development, education and safety of their young children.

Caring for a child is one of the most significant and fulfilling responsibilities we undertake as adults. Although it can be difficult at times, personal or family/whānau situations may make it even more challenging to take care of your baby or young child.

Putting Children first

We're proud to offer Family Start services at The Fono. It's a free, long-term home visit service to support pregnant mums and families with infants up to two years of age. We work alongside families who may be facing challenges due to their current circumstances, making it harder for them to care for their little ones. Such challenges could include:

  • Difficulty meeting basic needs for their child
  • Relationship problems with partners or family
  • Addiction concerns
  • Worries about their child's development
  • Have past or current involvement with Oranga Tamariki.

Our focus is to ensure that young children have access to a safe and healthy environment and achieve their developmental milestones by supporting families in their personal growth, education and relationships including family dynamics. The Fono partners with Family Works to deliver the Family Start service.

Who can access it

To be eligible for our Family Start services, families must have at least one child under one year old or a pregnant mum from 3 months. Additionally, they must live in one of the following regions and fall into one of the groups listed below:

  • Waitakere area: identify as Pacific or part of a migrant family and lives in West Auckland.
  • North Shore: open to all ethnicities and lives in the Kaipātiki area - this includes Beach Haven, Birkenhead, Chatswood, Birkdale, Northcote Peninsula, Glenfield, Hillcrest, Marlborough, Totara Vale, Bayview. As well as, the Hibiscus and Bays area.

If you don't live in any of the regions or do not fall into any of the groups mentioned above, please don't hesitate to contact us. We can refer you to a similar service in your area.

What we can help with

We have a team of family social workers, diverse and culturally competent, with the ability to speak more than two languages. You'll first be matched with a family social worker. They'll meet with you weekly at home, or where you feel the most comfortable and safe. These visits will occur for the first 6 weeks and/or if required up to 3 months. Then followed up with fortnightly or monthly visits depending on your needs and situation. Throughout our time with you, we will get to know you, your child and your family. Our focus is to:

  • Identify areas you and your child need support with
  • Help you create goals and develop a plan to achieve them.
  • Connect you to services that will help you on your journey
  • Provide support and advocate for you and your family

Connecting through talanoa

What can I expect?

Make contact with us

Contact can be a referral from an external agency, other The Fono services or a self-referral from yourself through the online form. Someone from our helpful team will call you within3 - 5 working days from the receipt of contact.

We'll visit you at home

During this visit we will get to know you and your situation more, identify with you what support you need and other services we can connect you with immediately.

Match you with your family social worker

After the first visit at home, we will match you with a family social worker who will contact you within two weeks to make an appointment. Together you'll develop a plan to help you achieve goals.

You will have weekly home visits

Your family social worker will meet you weekly for 6 weeks, or up to 3 months. Fortnightly or monthly visits will follow, dependant on your situation. They'll continue to support and advocate on your behalf when needed.

Reach out to us today

If you are struggling or want more information about Family Start, connect with us using the form below. A member of our helpful team will be in touch with you within 3 - 5 days.

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    Frequently asked questions

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