The implementation of the Supporting parents, healthy children guideline is a three year workforce development programme. Plenty of activity is underway and some great progress is being made. This summary updates you on what’s happened so far and how we’re making sure your service gets the support it needs.

Parents want the best for their children and this guideline provides all mental health and addiction services – adult and child services alike – with the mandate to work in a family focused way and support service users in their roles as parents.

Jo van Leeuwen heads up the project for Te Pou o te Whakaaro Nui and is excited about the way the guidelines encourage services to work holistically with people.

 “The important thing is that these guidelines give services a mandate to work holistically and acknowledge people’s lives and roles within families and whānau – in whatever shape or form that may be,” says Jo.

The Werry Centre leads this project, formerly known as COPMIA (children of parents with mental illness and/or addiction), supported by a national project team from Te Pou, Matua Raḵi, Le Va, Te Rau Matatini, Abacus and the Ministry of Health. Regular meetings take place to discuss activity that promotes the guideline and supports the workforce development required for successful implementation.

A recap on implementation support so far…

We are just four months into the year and already a raft of activity has taken place.

  • Four Ministry of Health workshops were held in February to educate people on the guideline – there was great attendance by 259 people from both the NGO sector and specialist services within all 20 DHBs.
  • A practitioner’s survey in March built on workshop feedback regarding what workforce needs are. Results are shaping resource development decisions (detailed in ‘What does the sector need’ below).
  • Five training workshops for practitioners were delivered by Kina Trust during March and April. These sessions are currently being evaluated and Te Pou will sponsor five more in June and July due to high demand.
  • Updated PRIMHD activity codes and definitions have been released.
    -    New COPMIA T-codes have been included into PRIMHD reporting.
    -    Te Pou will also be delivering training through the PRIMHD site coordinators to improve the quality of information being collected in PRIMHD.
    -    To support application of the new data definitions in the first instance, team leaders and practitioners need to connect with their local PRIMHD champion.

What does the sector need?

Te Pou is evaluating what the sector needs now and will later be measuring how effectively those needs are being met.

The practitioner’s survey identified the following workforce development needs in regards to implementing the guideline:

  • engagement skills with family/whānau
  • family work / therapy skills
  • implementation strategies
  • whānau ora
  • workforce planning
  • organisational support for implementation
  • support for  local supporting parents, healthy children champions.

Other resources requested by respondents include a specific website that would pull together documentation such as the relevant guidelines and acts (Vulnerable Children’s Act), resources and reading for whānau (for example, “Ruby’s Dad”), resources for practice support (mentoring) and other relevant literature on supporting parents and children.

The national project team will continue to work jointly to address these needs, and Te Pou will give regular project updates on progress via the e-bulletin.

Want to know more?