Important COVID-19 Notice

Kia ora Aotearoa. As always, and during these exceptional times, the safety and health of the tamariki, rangatahi and whānau in our services remain our number one priority.

Due to the Level 4 COVID-19 New Zealand-wide lockdown, we are re-thinking how we can deliver our Child and Family Services and programmes during this time given the requirement for us all to self-isolate. Our priority is making sure that we provide a means for those most in need to stay in touch with us so that we can support them where they need it.  

If you are an essential services worker and are unable to access childcare to perform your essential service, Barnardos Early Learning can provide in-home care to children aged 0-14 years. For more information please email us at 

For information on how COVID-19 affects our Barnardos Early Learning services, please visit our Barnardos Early Learning website.

Some of our Child and Family services are classed as ‘essential services’ by the Government. We will keep these running, and observe all required public health advice to stop the spread of COVID-19. These essential services are:

  1. Barnardos Care Services (including Foster Care).
  2. The Barnardos 0800 What’s Up helpline for children and teenagers.
  3. Support for those experiencing family violence.
  4. Whānau who require particular support.

During the lockdown period, Barnardos Child and Family Service staff won’t be home-visiting, but we are actively working to find ways to keep in touch with the families and whānau who we work with. We are proactively reaching out through telephones and other digital means, and are developing safety plans for families and whānau where they are needed.

Our website and Facebook page will be updated once our wider Child and Family services are able to resume as per normal, once the Government advises on when it is safe to do so.

Kotahitanga is one of our guiding principles and has never been more important in Aotearoa. Now more than ever we must all practice community care.

Though many of us are feeling anxious and uncertain, we must remember that for some this is a particularly hard time. Look after the elderly and those with underlying health conditions in your communities, and for those whānau who will need a little extra help.

Keep calm, practice all the public health advice, and stay virtually connected. Together we can all collectively do our bit to help stop the spread.

Kia kaha Aotearoa.

Doing more

As New Zealand's largest children's charity, we work hard every day to do more for Kiwi kids. We offer everything from education programmes to intensive support services, the majority of which accept self-referrals — because we believe everyone should be able to access support when they need it.

Alongside our own programmes, we support a number of services run by both government- and non-government agencies. This includes providing facilitators for the Ministry of Education's Intensive Wraparound Service and Lead Professionals to Oranga Tamariki's Children's Teams.

No matter the challenge, we have a way to help New Zealand children and their families grow and develop. Because we believe every child deserves the opportunity to shine bright.


0800 WHAT'S UP

0800 WHAT'S UP is a free, nationally-available counselling helpline and web–chat service for children and teenagers. It's staffed by trained counsellors — available from early afternoon to 10pm, 365 days a year.

To find out more about 0800 WHAT'S UP, visit our dedicated page or check out

Active Dads

The service

Active Dads is community based  programme that creates opportunities for fathers to strengthen their bonds with their young children. Active Dads runs a range of regular, free public events, including:

  • kite flying at local parks
  • treasure hunts
  • beach trips
  • 10pin bowling.

All events are suitable for children younger than 10.

Active Dads also provides regular dads–only evenings that focus on fostering open conversations, creating peer relationships and increasing parenting capabilities.

Active Dads events occur 1–2 times a month, usually during weekends. Attendance is free and prospective attendees are encouraged to contact their local office to have their name added to the Active Dads mailing list so they never miss an event.



  • Blenheim & Marlborough
  • Nelson


Who to contact

Blenheim & Marlborough
P: (03) 578 6491

P: (03) 539 0019

Bumps to Babies

Bumps to Babies is Barnardos' dedicated pregnancy, birth and early parenting education and support programme in the MidCentral region. It provides expectant mums and partners (and support people) all the information they need to prepare for the arrival of their first child. It also helps new parents build support networks of people in similar situations to their own.

To find out more, visit our dedicated Bumps to Babies page.

Canterbury Family Violence Collaboration

The service

Barnardos is a key partner in the Canterbury Family Violence Collaboration (CFVC) — a group of more than 50 organisations that work together to effectively address systemic family violence in the Canterbury region.

CFVC working towards a Canterbury free from physical, sexual and psychological abuse where everyone can feel safe. To do this, it works across the spectrum on prevention initiatives, crisis support, resettlement and long-term recovery.

CFVC is part of our national commitment to responding to Family Violence.


Find out more

For more information, visit the CFVC website.

Child & Youth Friendly Christchurch

The service

Barnardos is a key partner in Child & Youth Friendly Christchurch (CYFC) — a collaboration of local individuals, businesses and organisations who’ve pledged to work together to make Christchurch the best city to grow up in.

CYFC has 3 aims:

  1. Raise awareness of existing youth-focused initiatives and encourage people to consider children and young people in any community work they do.
  2. Consult with children and young people about their city and make sure their voices are heard.
  3. Monitor the well-being of children and young people in Christchurch and speak up when their needs are not being met.


Find out more

You can find out more about CYCF on the collaboration’s official website.

Children's Safety Programme

The service

The Barnardos Children's Safety Programme is for children aged 5–17 years who have witnessed or experienced family violence. The programme focuses on:

  • working with children to develop a safety plan they understand
  • supporting them as they make sense of the events of violence in their lives
  • helping them stay safe.

The first step is developing a safety plan with both a child and their carer. Children are then encouraged to attend our Footsteps to Feeling Safe programme (run primarily in groups for a minimum of 9 weeks).

During the Footsteps programme, children work on:

  • keeping their safety plan current
  • knowing where to get help when they need it
  • their understanding of abuse and violence
  • identifying feelings and dealing with worries
  • knowing how to manage anger
  • building confidence
  • looking towards the future.

By talking with children and involving them in programme activities, we help them rebuild their self–esteem so they can face the future with confidence.

Our children's safety programmes are free for anyone referred by the Family Court or Oranga Tamariki.



  • Whāngarei
  • Auckland
  • Hamilton & greater Waikato
  • Gisborne
  • Hawera
  • Lower Hutt, Porirua & Kapiti
  • Nelson
  • Christchurch & greater Canterbury
  • Invercargill & Gore.


Who to contact

If you'd like to know more about this service, call 0800 227 627 or send us a message.

Children's Supervised Contact

The service

Children's Supervised Contact enables a child to spend time with a parent or family member with whom they do not have day–to–day contact.

Trained Barnardos staff supervise all meetings and provide a controlled, safe and caring environment for children and their parents. This supervision allows children to feel comfortable as they make contact or reconnect with a parent or family member who has been out of their life.

The Family Court will fund up to 14 supervised contact sessions when this is needed to keep children safe. In most other cases, the visiting parent pays for the service.

Supervised Contact can also be used for changeover arrangements — when a child is dropped off by one parent and picked up by the other.



  • Whāngarei
  • Auckland
  • Hamilton
  • Napier
  • Whanganui
  • Palmerston North
  • Christchurch.


Who to contact

For more information or to enrol in this service, call 0800 227 627 or send us a message.

Family Breakdown Assesment (FBA)

Family Breakdown Assessment (FBA) is a child-centred service operated on behalf of the Ministry of Social Development (MSD).  It is designed for young people under the age of 19 who have had a family breakdown and are unable to live with their parents or guardians for a range of reasons. Barnardos undertakes an assessment of the circumstances meeting with the young person, family members and any other key people in the young person’s life to identify  if there has been a family breakdown. Once this assessment is complete this is sent to Work and Income New Zealand who are then responsible for determining whether or not to grant the appropriate benefit for that person.


This service is available Nationwide across New Zealand.

How to refer

All referrals to this service can only be made through Work and Income and cannot be made directly to Barnardos.

Who to contact

To find out more contact your local Work and Income office or see

Family Start

The service

Family Start is a child-centred, intensive, home visiting programme. It focuses on improving children’s

  • health
  • learning
  • relationships
  • family and whānau circumstances
  • environment
  • safety.

The programme supports families and whānau who struggle with challenges that put good health, education and social outcomes for their children at risk. The target group for Family Start is babies up to 12 months of age and pregnant women in their second or third trimester.  There are eligibility criteria based on clear risk factors, as set out on the referral form.



Family Start is only available in North and South Taranaki.


How to enrol

A referral form must be completed for anyone wanting to enrol in this programme. Forms can be found on the referral forms page.


Who to contact

To find out more, email or call (06) 968 8533.

Foster Care

Sometimes, children aren't able to be with their families. There can be any number of reasons for this. Regardless of the situation, our foster carers are there to provide stability, safety and care for children who need it — for as long as they need it.

To find out more, visit our dedicated foster care page.


The service

Home Interaction for Parents and Youngsters (HIPPY) is an in-home programme that helps parents nurture and educate their under-6s. It revolves around parent-led activities that help young children build their skills and learning in preparation for starting school.

HIPPY is designed specifically for those parents who may not feel comfortable in their own ability to support their children’s education. Parents and children work together for 15 minutes a day using storybooks, puzzles and learning games.

HIPPY is based on the bond between parents and children. Tutors offer support that builds parents’ strengths so they can provide their children with the skills and confidence necessary to begin school with a positive attitude toward learning.

Barnardos is contracted by Great Potentials to deliver the HIPPY programme in 4 communities across New Zealand.



  • Whāngarei
  • Auckland (West)
  • Hutt Valley (Northern and Naenae).


Who to contact

For more information or to enrol in this service, contact the coordinator in your area.

Hayley Brown (Whāngarei)
P: 027 212 0377

Mihaela Enache (Auckland West)
P: 027 667 4589

Jeanette Higham (Northern Hutt Valley)
P: 027 561 4474

Hiria Davies (Naenae)
P: 027 406 5119

Incredible Years

The service

Incredible Years is a 14-week programme for parents and caregivers of children aged 3–8 to grow their positive parenting skills. It provides practical help and support focused on

  • enhancing children’s social skills
  • child-led play
  • using praise and enhancing positive behaviours
  • establishing routines
  • setting clear rules and boundaries.

Incredible Years offers parents and caregivers the chance to

  • share their experiences with other parents facing similar challenges
  • explore new ideas for parenting their children
  • practice those ideas in a safe and supportive environment.

Parents who complete the programme tend to experience less stress, an improved sense of well-being, and improved relationships with each other and their children. Their children tend to show fewer behavioural challenges.



  • Auckland (Central & South)
  • Gisborne
  • Taranaki
  • Blenheim.


Who to contact

For more information or to enrol in this service, contact the coordinator in your area.

P: (09) 625 3684 

P: (06) 869 1340 

P: (06) 753 3484

P: (03) 578 6491


LEAP is a specialised support service designed for children and families facing multiple challenges.

To find out more about this service, visit our dedicated LEAP page. For a LEAP referral form, go to our referral forms page.

Leap Ahead

The service

Leap Ahead is an education programme for parents or caregivers returning to work or education through Work and Income New Zealand (WINZ). It helps parents manage the changes their families will experience as part of their transition away from full-time parenting.

Leap Ahead allows parents to discuss

  • the impact changes in daily routine can have on children
  • strategies they can use to help their families adjust to the change
  • agencies and services they can access to help with the transition
  • how to plan ahead to address issues before they arise.

Leap Ahead is strengths-based programme that focuses on building the existing skills and knowledge of the parents and caregivers attending.



  • Timaru
  • Gore
  • Invercargill.


Who to contact

All referrals to Leap Ahead are done by WINZ.

Parent in Charge

The service

Parent in Charge (Mātua Whakaruruhau) is a programme designed for parents under the age of 18 who are receiving a Young Parent payment from the government.

The classes run over a 6 week period and help attendees

  • notice how their baby is changing and growing
  • explore ways to play with their baby
  • learn ways to keep their baby safe
  • better understand their role as a parent
  • build a support network with other young parents.



  • Auckland (Central & South)
  • New Plymouth & Hawera
  • Blenheim & Nelson
  • Christchurch
  • Oamaru
  • Invercargill & Gore.



Mātua Whakaruruhau is free to eligible attendees.


Who to contact

For more information or enrol in this service, call 0800 227 627 or send us a message.

Parent Mentoring Programme (Paiheretanga)

The service

Our Parenting Mentoring Programme (Paiheretanga) is a 2-week intensive, home-based support service. It’s specifically for families and whānau who are involved with Oranga Tamariki or whose children are at risk of being referred to them.  The programme is designed to promote child wellbeing by helping families develop a more stable family and home environment.

A parent mentor provides up to 40 hours of in-home support to help with

  • positive parenting
  • home management strategies
  • education about child development
  • advocacy
  • access to community resources.


Availability and referrals

This service is available in both Whāngarei and Auckland (South). Referrals to the Auckland programme must come from Oranga Tamariki. Anyone is welcome to self-refer to the Whāngarei programme by contacting our Whāngarei-based coordinator.


Who to contact

For more information about this service, contact the coordinator in your area.

P: (09) 556 0818

P: (09) 625 3684

Parenting Plus North-West

The service

Parenting Plus North–West is an in-home parenting support package that uses toolbox methods developed by the Parenting Place. It helps families build their parenting capabilities and learn to manage difficult situations in a way that is most comfortable for them.

Our trained social workers visit clients in-home to determine their needs then provide a suite of tools tailored to them. The programme is available to families with children of all ages but is particularly focused on preparing families for parenting teenagers.

Parenting Plus North West is provided at a fixed rate of $75. This includes 6-10 sessions with a social worker, personal coaching and support, plus all resources. Some clients may be eligible for subsidised attendance, depending on their circumstances.



  • Auckland (North and West).


Who to contact

To find out more or enrol in this service, email or call (09) 625 3675.

Parenting through Separation

Parenting through Separation (PTS) is a free course for parents who are currently separating or have recently separated. It can also help grandparents and other family members/whānau who have responsibilities around a child's care.

To find out more, visit our dedicated PTS page.

Right Service Right Time

The service

Right Service Right Time is a family-centred, seamless support service that offers a broad range of services to people in need, hosted by Barnardos Christchurch.

Families seeking assistance often have multiple needs and require the services of more than one programme or support service. The Right Service Right Time approach offers families and professionals one point of contact for a range of services provided by over 45 partner agencies so they can access what they need when they need it.

Right Service Right Time staff tailor the services they provide to the strengths and needs of the families they work with.


Find out more

For more information, check out the Right Service Right Time website.

Social Workers in Schools (SWiS)

The service

Social Workers in Schools (SWiS) is a free service that places social workers in schools across to New Zealand to support the learning and development of children and families. Barnardos run the service in the Hutt Valley and in Southland. 

Our SWiS workers have 3 main roles:

  1. to work one-on-one with children and their families and whanau
  2. to provide group programmes which help children and families succeed
  3. to help families access community support services and networks, including health and housing services.

By providing early help and support, our social workers are able to work with children, families, whānau and schools to

  • help children in need and those who are vulnerable
  • develop plans to improve their wellbeing and safety
  • support improvement in educational outcomes.

SWiS is a voluntary service — teachers, principals and community members are welcome to refer any family or child but attendance is not required. SWiS workers are there to help any person involved in the school community when needed.



Hutt Valley

  • Arakura School
  • Avalon Intermediate
  • Avalon Primary
  • Dyer Street School
  • Epuni School
  • Koraunui School
  • Maoribank School
  • Naenae Intermediate
  • Naenae Primary
  • Pomare School
  • Pukeatua School
  • Randwick School
  • Rata Street School
  • St Bernadette's School
  • St Michael's School
  • Taita Central
  • Te Ara Whānui
  • Tui Glen School


  • Aurora College
  • Ascot Community School
  • Bluff Primary School
  • East Gore School
  • Fernworth Primary School
  • Invercargill Middle School
  • Mataura School
  • Newfield Park School
  • New River Primary School
  • St Joseph's School Invercargill
  • St Patrick's School Invercargill
  • St Patrick's School Nightcaps
  • St Theresa's School Bluff


Who to contact

Hutt Valley
P: (04) 801 1707

P: (03) 214 7751

Specialist Group Homes

The service

Our specialist group homes provide a safe and stable home for boys aged 12–17 with at-risk behaviour, where they can develop their strengths and realise their potential. We provide their day-to-day care while they attend offsite education or training and therapeutic treatment. The young people we work with are all referred to the service by Oranga Tamariki.

We help them

  • understand the reasons for their behaviour 
  • make the changes they need to be safe
  • develop their education and life skills so they have the best chance of being successful adults.

During the programme, we provide a wide range of experiences designed to extend and challenge our young people. We:

  • help them discover their strengths and capabilities
  • support them to develop new skills and abilities
  • teach them about their own and others’ cultures
  • encourage them to find new interests including sports, music and other hobbies.

Our aim is always to help our rangatahi return to their community in a safe and positive way. We involve their family and other support agencies throughout their time with us to ensure that each young person is able to return to a safe, stable and supportive environment.

Our team comes from a range of professions. It includes managers, social workers and residential youth workers who work with families and whanau and a wide variety of community providers.



We have specialist group homes across the country.



All referrals to this service are made through Oranga Tamariki.

Strengthening Families

The service

Strengthening Families brings together multiple agencies to provide coordinated support for families and whānau with multiple needs before problems get too big.

With our help, families can

  • find warm, comfortable housing
  • improve the health or behaviour of children
  • resolve money troubles
  • get help when a child isn't doing well at school
  • learn to cope with stress at home and in relationships
  • overcome family violence and addiction.

Strengthening Families is free for any family or whānau receiving or requiring help from 2 or more government- or community support services.



  • Auckland
  • New Plymouth
  • Waitaki
  • Gore.


Who to contact

For more information or to enrol in this service, call 0800 227 627 or send us a message.

Support to Care

The service

Barnardos Support to Care provides a range of services to non-parent permanent caregivers. It

  • helps caregivers meet the needs of children and young people who have been permanently placed with them
  • provides assistance so children have long–term, stable homes and better life outcomes.

The programme offers a range of assistance packages tailored to individual needs, including:

  • parenting advice and education
  • access to trauma–informed care training for caregivers
  • placement disruption support
  • transition support
  • whakapapa support and connection
  • early childhood services and support
  • supervised contact sessions
  • ‘Home for life’ support.

This service is free for eligible caregivers who meet the definition of a 'permanent caregiver' under the Children, Young Persons and their Families Act 1989.



  • Whāngarei
  • Auckland region
  • Waikato region
  • Gisborne
  • Taranaki region
  • Whanganui
  • Manawatu & Horowhenua regions
  • Hutt Valley
  • Nelson & Blenheim
  • Canterbury region
  • Oamaru
  • Invercargill & Gore.


Who to contact

Caregivers can access this service via Permanent Caregiver Support Services. Call 0800 FOR PCSS (0800 367 7277) or email

Te Poutama Ārahi Rangatahi

The service

Te Poutama Ārahi Rangatahi is a Christchurch-based, comprehensive, integrated residential treatment programme for boys aged 12–16 with at-risk behaviour. The young people we work with are all referred to the service by Oranga Tamariki.

We provide their day-to-day care, education and therapeutic assistance on-site to help them

  • understand the reasons for their behaviour
  • make the changes they need to be safe
  • develop their education and life skills so they have the best chance to be successful adults.

During the programme, we also provide a wide range of experiences designed to extend and challenge our young people. We

  • help them discover their strengths and capabilities
  • support them to develop new skills and abilities
  • teach them about their own and others' cultures
  • encourage them to find new interests including sports, music and other hobbies.

Our aim always is to help them return to their community in a safe and positive way. We involve their family and other support agencies throughout their time with us to ensure they can return to a safe, stable and supportive environment.

Our team comes from a range of professions. It includes managers, social workers and residential youth workers who work with families and whanau and a wide variety of community providers.



All referrals to this service are made through Oranga Tamariki.

Violence Free Tairāwhiti Network

Barnardos is a key partner in the Violence Free Tairāwhiti Network (VFTN) - an extensive cross-sector network of government and non-government agencies that work together to effectively address systemic family violence within the Tairāwhiti community. The group meets bi-monthly to share information about services; identify family violence trends and patterns; identify and discuss family violence issues; share resources; provide mutual support; raise the profile of available services; promote services and events; liaise between NGOs and government agencies and improve access to services.

The vision of VFTN is an enhanced community and interagency response to family violence intervention and prevention and the purpose of the network is to enhance the capacity of local agencies and the Tairāwhiti community to respond to and prevent family violence through a collaborative interagency approach.

Find out more

For more information, visit the Manaaki Tairāwhiti website.

Women's Safety Programmes

The service

Our women’s safety services work to build resilience and strength in women who have been victims of family violence.

  • We support women to develop strategies to stay safe and take a range of practical steps, including getting a Protection Order from the Family Court.
  • For women with a Protection Order, we offer 9–12 week group or individual programmes tailored to the needs of the women attending.

Our services empower and support women to 

  • develop strategies to keep themselves safe, including identifying and building supportive relationships
  • understand their protection order and how it works
  • Cope with change, especially regarding their parenting responsibilities
  • Value themselves and know they are much  more than a  victim of domestic violence
  •  move towards a violence-free future — including taking care of their physical and emotional wellbeing, accessing community supports and dealing with financial matters.

The service is free for anyone referred by the Family Court or by Oranga Tamariki. Anyone referred by another agency can contact us about access to the service.



  • Henderson
  • Morrinsville
  • Te Awamutu
  • Hāwera
  • Lower Hutt


Who to contact

For more information or to enrol in this service, call 0800 227 627 or send us a message.