Working with local social workers and Oranga Tamariki BAF is leading the scoping of a new initiative to address the significant need for respite care in Taranaki.
Traumatised children have high needs, their behaviour can be highly confusing and challenging and therefore caregivers require high levels of support. Respite care allows caregivers to have some separation from the intensity of the parenting work and also allows the biological family to reconnect. Respite is identified by caregivers as pivotal in assisting their self-care and ability to sustain placements especially during stressful periods.
Aside from agency caregivers, in our community we also have a large number of kin/whanau caregivers, grandparents, Aunts, Uncles, Siblings and other Whanau connections caring for tamariki and taiohi because of care and protection or other traumatic incidences in the family. There are more families that go directly through the court process to gain custody and guardianship unknown to support agencies.
Once established the respite home would offer a system where weekday and weekend respite is provided. Respite would generally be for 2 nights per month, but up to a week would be considered if there is an identified need and there are bed nights available. Our aim is to engage four house parents to provide the main care on a rotating system of 7 nights on 7 nights off or a similar system.
Tamariki / taiohi aged 15 years and under are our target group although pre-school children could be accommodated in sibling groups.