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Mana Whānau is a six-month programme run by Lifewise to support families/whānau to stay together. We work in partnership with parents who are under stress, offering practical support.

Parents Playing With Their Child

Mana Whānau is Lifewise’s In Home Intensive Parenting Support Programme. With this programme, a whānau worker will give you support in your home and community.

What does Mana Whānau offer?

The Mana Whānau programme is:

Voluntary – referrals to the programme are made by Oranga Tamariki, but only with the agreement of the whānau.

Led by you – we support you to work on the goals and priorities of your whānau.

Flexible – to meet the needs and routines of your whānau.

Focused – helping you reduce stresses in your life first so you can then focus on building the skills you need.

Intensive – we will be there at the times of the day when you need us most. That can be up to 9 hours a day initially. We’ll gradually reduce this to a few hours per week by the end of the six-month period.

“I wanted to be their Mum but I needed help to be a better Mum. Everything I am doing is for them, to make their lives better. I want my kids to have better lives.”

“She doesn’t feel like a social worker, she feels like my aunty.”

What does Mana Whānau offer?

  • Practical ways to reduce, manage or remove the things that are causing
    the big stresses in your life.
  • Guidance for starting household routines that work for your whānau.
  • Advocacy, support and liaison with other agencies, schools etc.
  • Support to build your confidence and parenting skills.
  • Help to create great networks in the community.
  • Encouragement to keep focusing on your goals.

“I felt overwhelmed. It was really intense. But it’s like they are walking beside me saying ‘you can do this’.”

Family playing on a playground

Who’s Mana Whānau for?

The Mana Whānau programme is for:

Families/whānau who are at risk of having their children removed from their care by Oranga Tamariki.

Families/whānau who need support to have their children return home from foster care.

Referrals to the programme can only be made through Oranga Tamariki.

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