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Whānau Resilience long-term healing and recovery services

The aim of Whānau Resilience is to create strong, resilient communities where whānau are supported to live violence free and to eliminate violence for the next generation.

It brings key changes to how we work with providers, including a shift from a nationally designed and delivered model to a regionally designed and delivered model.

How it will work

Whānau Resilience will involve local groups of providers working together in their regions to design services for people.

This design process will take around a year, and involves providers working together to build a picture of the needs and strengths of their region, along with testing and learning about what works for whānau to build resilience.

The services that are designed at the end of the process will then be delivered into communities.

Everyone involved will be working to the same overall vision and be focused on five Pou, or service areas, which have been proven to be effective for long-term responses – such as:

  • strengthening cultural identity and whakapapa
  • strengthening social capability and community connection
  • supporting long term behaviour change for men and people using violence
  • supporting trauma healing and recovery from violence
  • creating healthy relationships and skills.

There will also be a number of aspects that will go into the creation of any services to make sure they have a strong evidence base and are sustainable, including making sure these are informed by, and adaptive to, local whānau voices; led by tikanga Māori principles and values; reflect and value diversity, cultural identity and gender equality; and have built-in measurements and feedback loops.

Key changes we are making with Whānau Resilience

A new procurement process for providers

We introduced a new approach to procure Whānau Resilience.

Instead of asking for just written applications, we included a combination of written and kanohi ki te kanohi (face-face) presentations that providers gave in front of their peers as well as a national panel. Presenting in front of peers made the procurement process more transparent, with the panel held accountable as everyone could see what was presented.

The aim was to make a fairer process for all, and in particular to ensure kaupapa Māori and pacific providers were not disadvantaged.

Solutions that are designed by the region, for the region

A key change that Whānau Resilience brings is that solutions will be designed by regions, for regions.

We know that communities and providers have invaluable knowledge, experience and access to their unique local whānau voice that should inform the design of services in their communities.

This new approach will see those who are delivering the service involved in the design and implementation.

This helps to ensure that all parties are engaged and invested in the design process, but also ensure that what is designed is able to be tailored to the region.

Successful providers

A focus on fostering regional participation and decision making

Vital to the success of Whānau Resilience is fostering regional participation and decision making.

We are doing this by focusing on collaboration, and giving providers the time to work together to listen to their local whānau voices, develop integrated solutions and create sustainable ways to stay connected.

Key to the success of a regionally designed and delivered model is context and relationships. We know that what works in one area might not work in another.

This will mean that underpinning the services that are designed and delivered will be a shared understanding of the dynamics of the community, and the strengths of the place and people.

Fostering a learning environment to build capability

Creating ways to sustainably build capability is another key component of Whānau Resilience.

We are doing this by fostering an environment where everyone can learn and share by investing in working in a new way that affords the time and learning opportunities to build localised regional capability.

This differs from the usual approach of bringing in design companies to lead the design where they ‘parachute in and airlift out’. By building the capability within the regions we are investing in, this gives local people the ability to develop and lead local solutions.

MSD is also learning from this process, by being reflective about what has or hasn’t worked will give us a roadmap for future ways of working differently.

Longer-term five year contracts with FTE-based funding

Whānau Resilience will have longer-term contracts broken into two phases – around 12 months for regional design of services and then a further 4 years for delivery.

Providers will take around 12 months to work together across their region to determine the needs of their communities and what is already available, test ideas and then deliver a clear service concept at the end of the process, ready for delivery.

This allows time for providers to collaborate on the design and provides a longer term for delivery, giving more stability for providers to support people presenting with complex problems.

The funding is also FTE-based, rather than funding by client volumes, which helps to make funding more equal and transparent for providers.

Strategic links

Whānau Resilience came about as part of MSD’s new Family Violence Funding Approach, and is being supported by additional funding of $15.4 million as part of Budget 2018.

The Whānau Resilience approach reflects MSD’s strategic intent of Kotahitanga – partnering for greater impact – by acknowledging that communities and providers have invaluable knowledge and experience that should inform the design of services delivered in their communities.

The Whānau Resilience initiative and Funding Approach in general is part of, and will remain responsive to, the work of the wider cross-government joint venture to reduce family violence and sexual violence through an integrated response.

Whānau Resilience services are just one element in a wider system response to family violence.

Whanau Resilience Services

Updates on Whānau Resilience

You can stay in touch with the latest on what’s happening by subscribing to our Family Violence and Sexual Violence Service Provider Update.

Please contact us at if you have any questions.

Resource hub for Whanau Resilience providers

A resource hub to get Whanau Resilience providers up and running with their design.

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