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Building a sustainable future for family violence services

New Zealand has some of the highest levels of family violence in the world, which has a devastating impact on people and communities across the country.

Providers of family violence services have been working in difficult circumstances for many years to help people who are affected by family violence.

Over the last few years the sector has increasingly been working together to reduce the prevalence and impact of family violence in New Zealand.

As the Ministry of Social Development is a major funder of family violence services, we are keen to build on this momentum. We would like to see a future where providers are sustainably funded and services are whānau-centred, outcomes-focused and integrated.

To move towards this future, we are working with providers and communities, to strengthen the funding and delivery of family violence services for whānau and families by developing a Family Violence Funding Plan for MSD funded services.

The work to develop and implement the Funding Plan is being supported by additional funding for MSD-funded family violence services announced in Budget 2018.

Engagement with providers across the country

We are using a staged approach to develop the new funding plan. The first stage involved engagement across the family violence sector.

During this phase the team travelled around New Zealand to meet with a random selection of providers to learn and understand the current service delivery and the gaps.

Providers were very gracious with their time and we gained many valuable insights. We have summarised the key themes from the discussions.

To make sure all providers had an opportunity to have a say, we provided a confidential, anonymous survey to ensure all providers could participate.

The next phase will be an analysis of all the information gathered and the development of a new funding plan. We will then be looking to work with the sector to co-design how the funding plan will be put into operation.

We are committed to working with the sector and communities openly and transparently throughout the process to develop a sustainable future for the family violence system.

New Whānau Resilience service

During the engagement with providers we heard that most of MSD’s funding to family violence service providers ends up being directed to crisis support, because of the overwhelming demand for these services. This does not enable service providers to work with families and whānau to break the intergenerational cycle of violence.

To address this need, we will invest $15.4 million received in Budget 2018 in ‘Whānau Resilience services’ that will focus on providing long-term healing and recovery services to individuals, families, whānau and communities affected by family violence.