On Monday 22nd July Te Runanganui o Ngati Porou and Child, Youth and Family signed a Memorandum of Understanding that will encourage both organisations to work more closely together to help protect and nurture our tamariki and mokopuna.
Over fifty people attended the signing ceremony at Shed 3 in Gisborne, including the Minister for the Police and the local Member of Parliament, Anne Tolley (representing Minister Paula Bennett), representatives from government agencies, local social service organizations and the Runanganui. The signing ceremony was preceded by joint presentations focusing on joint initiatives between the Runanganui and CYFs. After the signing ceremony, a small delegation observed the youth services team in action which was followed by a ceremonial lunch.
Te Runanganui o Ngati Porou has been providing social services to Gisborne and East Coast whanau for 21 years. Currently CYFS contracts the Runanganui to provide Social Workers in Schools, Parenting Skills programmes and Fresh Start Youth initiatives. The Memorandum of Understanding will help support the development of a tailored, joint Child, Youth and Family/Ngati Porou strategy over the next 12 months, based on the shared aspirations of both partners.
At the end of last year, there were almost 200 Ngati Porou children in the care of Child, Youth and Family. Initiatives being explored with CYFs include co-facilitation models, female mentoring, home for life initiatives, respite care and the establishment of a sports academy. Center to the MOU and potential Ngati Porou initiatives is connecting our mokopuna to their Ngati Porou whakapapa, making them feel proud of their Ngati Porou history and legacy that lay before us and welcoming them into the whanau.