Reports

Our latest annual report talks about the work we've done over the past 12 months to protect, educate and support thousands of Kiwi kids and their whānau.

Previous annual reports are also available:

Media releases

Working together to do more for Kiwi kids

19 June 2017

”Creating a bright future for all children in Aotearoa New Zealand is achievable, and we must all work together to make it happen’, says Barnardos, the leading children’s charity.

“Our kids are our future”,  says Mr Sanders. Barnardos takes a long-term view and advocates for others to do the same. We are raising the next generation of New Zealanders who will be looking after us and our country one day. “The recent UNICEF Report was another reminder that we must do more in New Zealand to ensure that all children here grow up safe, healthy and happy. It’s about the culture that we want to build in New Zealand for our kids. We need to work together urgently to get our country to a better place for children, and for all of us.”

This week Barnardos has launched a national campaign to raise awareness of the needs of one million New Zealand children. “Barnardos exists for all Kiwi kids,” says Barnardos Chief Executive Jeff Sanders. “Through our early childhood education and social services, we make a long-lasting and positive difference to young lives every day.”

‘Doing more for our nation’s children’ is at the heart of Barnardos’ campaign. Barnardos has been working with communities throughout New Zealand for more than 60 years. “Whether it’s a teacher helping a three-year-old to build a love of learning, or a social worker sharing strategies to keep a child safe from family violence, we are changing the stories of thousands of young Kiwis for the better.”

”Barnardos urges all people of New Zealand to do more to make Aotearoa a place where all kids feel safe, loved and valued. A place where all children have positive stories to tell about their lives. “We must recognise that all of us have a part to play in making New Zealand a country where every child has the opportunity to shine bright. Let’s all work together to make that happen. We can all do more.” says Mr Sanders.

Barnardos’ ‘Do More’ campaign starts on  19 June and will run through July. The campaign will be running across a variety of media.

For more information, contact Elena Walter, Brand Manager, on 027 217 5175.

We must do more to protect the well-being and rights of children in New Zealand

15 June 2017

Barnardos says a new report placing New Zealand 34th out of 41 developed countries is a reminder that we must do more to protect the well-being and rights of all children in New Zealand.

"The Report published today by UNICEF's Innocenti Centre - a world-class, evidence-driven research institute - makes clear how far New Zealand is falling behind on a whole range of child well-being indicators. We must not only pay attention to these concerning findings, but act on them to build a brighter future for all New Zealand's children", says Claire Achmad, Barnardos Manager - Advocacy.

The UNICEF Innocenti Report Card 14 provides an assessment of child well-being across country members of the Organisation for Economic Co-Operation and Development (OECD) and the European Union. Comparative to the other countries assessed, New Zealand ranks in the bottom quarter on many of the measures used.

"The Report shows we've got a real problem in New Zealand when it comes to some of the basics, like keeping our kids safe. We've got the worst rate of youth suicide and this is highly concerning. We must act to change this by listening to children and young people to understand how they and their peers get to this point, so we can identify the drivers and work with children and young people to develop solutions that work in practice", says Ms. Achmad.

"We must also do more to support all children from their very early years, so that they have the basics they need to grow up well. The Report Card tells us that around 16 percent of children in New Zealand are living in households where none of their parents or caregivers have a job. Barnardos knows from the work we do around New Zealand with children that a lack of household income impacts negatively on children, across a whole range of socio-economic outcomes."

"This Report Card is yet another reminder that we've got to do more in New Zealand to ensure that all children here grow up safe, healthy and happy. So they know that we believe in their potential. It's about the culture that we want to build in New Zealand for our kids. We need to work together urgently to get our country to a better place for children, and for all of us." 

Anything in this media statement can be attributed to Claire Achmad, Manager - Advocacy. For more information, contact Elena Walter, Brand Manager, on 027 217 5175.

More needs to be done so that all New Zealand children benefit from public spending

26 May 2017

Barnardos says Budget 2017 will help some children, but more needs to be done so that all New Zealand children benefit from public spending.

“Government Budgets are about choices. This includes choices about how public money is spent on children. We’re pleased to see the Government aiming to get more money to families with children. This will make a tangible difference for some families – some more than others. But in addition to targeted funding for effective, evidence-based programmes such as Family Start – which we strongly welcome – we think that Government could have made the choice to spend some of its surplus to ensure all New Zealand children benefit in their early years, on an equal basis”, says Barnardos Chief Executive Officer, Jeff Sanders.

“We continue to have some appalling statistics in New Zealand when it comes to the protection and wellbeing of our tamariki – such as our unacceptably high child poverty rate. Barnardos sees the impact of these problems every day in the work we do around New Zealand with children and their families. It’s essential that Government focuses on addressing these really tough issues so that all children in New Zealand can shine bright.”

This Budget was an opportunity for Government to choose to build a brighter future for all New Zealand children that is transformational and visionary. “We would have liked to see Government choose to be bold and make commitments to spending on children in their early years on a universal basis, to reduce the inequality gap and to address child poverty. In that respect, this Budget is a missed opportunity.”

Sanders says that “there are positive signals from Government about what it wants to achieve for and with New Zealand children. But we’d like to see Government comprehensively focus on putting all New Zealand children at the centre of its work. After all, they’re this country’s future. One of the strongest ways it can do this is through directing public money to New Zealand children in their early years, through a universal child payment.”

“A universal approach sends a strong message about the place we want New Zealand to be for children, one in which they thrive and flourish, so they can go on to live good, productive and fulfilling lives”, says Sanders.

Anything in this media statement can be attributed to Jeff Sanders, Chief Executive Officer. For more information, contact Elena Walter, Brand Manager on 027 217 5175.

Barnardos hopes to see all NZ children benefit from Budget 2017

24 May 2017

Barnardos hopes to see all New Zealand children benefit from Budget 2017 tomorrow.

“We must ensure that all our nation’s children get the best possible start in life. A start that sees them flourishing in childhood and productive in adulthood”, says Barnardos Chief Executive Officer, Jeff Sanders. 

“The way Government chooses to spend money can have a tangible and positive impact on children’s lives. Boosting household resilience for families with children is a way to make this happen. What we particularly hope to see is the introduction of a universal child payment.”

A Government commitment to a universal child payment for all children in their early years would send a strong message about the kind of country that New Zealand can be: one where all children get an equal start in life and whose potential is valued.

“In addition to targeted interventions focusing on the most vulnerable children, a universal child payment is the most practical way that Government can help families to give their children a start in life that is positive and equal. Many other countries already do this, so we know it is something that works”, says Sanders. 

“A universal child payment for each and every child in New Zealand in their early years is the best fiscal intervention to support children from the moment they are born. It will help to reduce stress on families and inequality among children, contributing to a reduction in our unacceptably high child poverty rate. We hope that Budget 2017 will reflect this, and send a strong message that New Zealand is a country that champions children.”

Anything in this media release can be attributed to Jeff Sanders, Chief Executive Officer. For more information, contact Elena Walter, Brand Manager, on 027 217 5175.

Barnardos welcomes new government investment in improving the lives of vulnerable children

3 May 2017

Every child in Aotearoa New Zealand deserves a great start in life and investing in our most at-risk children as early as possible helps build stronger whānau and communities.

That’s the message from the country’s leading provider of children’s social services, Barnardos New Zealand, following the Prime Minister’s announcement today of increased investment in supporting vulnerable children in Budget 2017.

The increase in investment, along with a new set of Better Public Services targets, which include a focus on improving the lives of vulnerable children and their families, has been welcomed by Barnardos.

“At Barnardos, we believe the best investments are those that put the child at the centre and improve the lives of Aotearoa New Zealand’s tamariki and rangatahi,” says Barnardos Chief Executive Jeff Sanders. “This is particularly true for children who are at risk of poor education, health and social outcomes. By investing in them early, we’ll be helping to make a crucial difference, setting them on a path to brighter futures.”

The new Social Investment Package will see $321 million invested over 4 years to help some of the country's most at-risk children. As part of the package, the Government will invest $28.1 million in a nation-wide roll-out of Family Start — a child-centred, strengths-based programme supporting whānau with very young children at risk of challenges which may impact on the child’s ability to flourish.

Barnardos works with thousands of vulnerable children each year in communities throughout New Zealand and currently delivers Family Start in Taranaki. The programme sees social workers visiting families in their homes to help improve children’s health, learning, relationships and safety.

Since the organisation began delivering Family Start in late 2016, Barnardos staff have seen significant improvements in the lives of the children and families they’ve worked with. “With Family Start, we’re able to work with families from very early on in a child’s life and for up to 5 years if they need that ongoing support,” says Mr Sanders. “This allows us to take a long-term view while also supporting families to make immediate improvements to household structures and routines, children’s health, and to address serious issues such as family violence. It’s a holistic, child-centred service and it’s fantastic that we now have the opportunity for more children to benefit from it.”

The Prime Minister today also announced 10 new Better Public Services targets, with ‘Improving the lifetime wellbeing of vulnerable children’, ‘Healthy mums and babies’ and ‘Better access to social housing’ among the targets. Sanders says Barnardos welcomes the Government’s commitment to improving outcomes for tamariki and their whānau—including the most vulnerable—through the new targets.

“It was great to hear Mr English stating that changing lives is what drives him as Prime Minister,” says Mr Sanders. “Kiwis used to believe that Aotearoa New Zealand was the best place in the world to be a child. We all need to work together make sure that our country is again an excellent place to begin life and grow up. At Barnardos, we believe that strong communities start with children who are supported, educated and protected in all aspects of their lives so they can shine bright.”

“We welcome the Prime Minister’s view that ‘a great country is one where children with a tough start will be supported so they can live good lives’ — this new investment and commitment is an important step towards that.”

For more information, contact Barnardos Brand Manager, Elena Walter, on 027 217 5175.

Caring for 120 kids brings joy and challenges

10 March 2017

Sharon and Gary Richardson have a family that is 120 strong. Alongside raising 4 children of their own (including an adopted daughter) the pair have cared for more than 120 children over the past 30 years as Barnardos foster carers in Auckland.

Now, their incredible commitment to the wellbeing of children is being acknowledged with a nomination for an Excellence in Fostering Award as part of Foster Care Awareness Week (March 6-10).

They will join other nominees on Friday 10 March for a special awards ceremony hosted by the Governor-General at Government House in Wellington.

But while the couple are pleased to have official recognition of their efforts, they say the real reward has been helping children when they need it most. “We have found so much joy in each child who has come into our home and love the energy they bring into our lives,” says Sharon.

For children who have been through some really tough times, praise and encouragement does wonders, as do consistent routines and boundaries. “We really thrive on seeing children learn and develop. We get great pleasure from teaching children their times tables and increasing their vocabulary — it’s amazing to be part of their growth.”

Barnardos provides its foster care service in Auckland with around 70 children placed into the homes of carers each year. Placements can be for just a few nights or long–term, depending on the child’s need and their family situation.

Barnardos Chief Executive Jeff Sanders says Sharon and Gary’s nomination for the award is apt given the commitment and passion they have shown over so many years.

“I’m amazed by the sacrifices and selflessness of all Barnardos foster carers,” says Jeff. “Our carers truly enrich the lives of those children who come into their homes — they’re helping ensure Aotearoa’s young people have every chance for a future that’s bright. It’s so pleasing to see that Sharon and Gary’s efforts have been recognised in this way and we’ll eagerly await news from the awards night.”

For more information, contact Barnardos Foster Care Service Manager, Nancy Jelavich, on (09) 625 3747.

Barnardos increases child helpline capacity following Kaikōura quakes

24 November 2016

Barnardos service 0800 What’s Up, New Zealand’s most accessed counselling helpline for children, has more counsellors available following the November 14 Kaikōura Earthquake and the resulting aftershocks.

The increase follows a number of young callers getting in touch because of the stress and anxiety they’d been feeling since the 7.8 magnitude shake.

“For children in the most affected areas, the trauma of living through such a life-changing event as the Kaikōura earthquake can really turn their lives upside down,” says 0800 What’s Up team leader Lesley Butler. “We’ve already had a number of young people call and chat online with us because they’re scared, having trouble sleeping and feeling uncertain about the future. Our counsellors are able to really help by listening and helping them through this difficult time.”

Helping young people in the aftermath of earthquakes is something the Barnardos team have plenty of experience with. The February 2011 earthquake in Christchurch saw a big increase in calls to 0800 What’s Up, with the earthquake becoming one of the most called–about issues for that year. Counsellors were still taking calls from youngsters two years after the event.

“We know that the effects of living through a large earthquake can last for some time,” says Lesley. “We want children to know that, if they need to talk to someone outside their friends and family, they can call us and speak to a trained counsellor who can support them and help them develop coping strategies to deal with any worries they may be having.”

For further information contact Barnardos Operations Manager, Karen Billings, on (04) 801 1677.


 
0800 What’s Up counsellors are available to talk or Web Chat 365 days a year. Call free on 0800 WHATSUP (0800 942 8787) from 1pm-10pm Mon-Fri or 3pm-10pm on the weekends. Web Chat is open 5-10pm every day.

Children's helpline celebrates milestone

29 September 2016

0800 What’s Up, one of New Zealand’s most accessed children’s helplines, has celebrated 15 years of providing support, information and advice to young people.

A service of Barnardos New Zealand, What’s Up took its first calls on 22 September 2001. Since then it has been open for nearly 5,500 consecutive days (including Christmas), has taken many hundreds of thousands of calls and racked up millions of minutes in support of young people.

“15 years is quite a legacy and something we’re very proud of,” says What’s Up Team Leader Lesley Butler. “With us having been around for all that time it’s amazing to think that some of the kids we were talking to back when we started could now have children of their own.”

Lesley has been with the helpline since nearly the beginning and she’s seen a lot of change since 2001.

Indeed, What’s Up are always looking for new ways to connect with and help their young clients. In 2014 they launched a new Web Chat service which proved instantly popular and has already completed thousands of chat sessions.

One thing that hasn’t really changed is the prevalence of bullying as an issue. In 2011 it was the second most frequent issue (behind peer relationships) and today it is the number one problem children call about.

Bullying is a massive issue for many of our callers and with the growing prevalence of online bullying it’s now a bigger problem than ever,” says Lesley. “Being the victim of bullying can be an incredibly lonely and distressing time for a child. When young people are being bullied they can be at a loss as to how to deal with the problem and have nowhere else to turn. It’s really rewarding being here to provide them with ideas and methods to help them through this time.

Other prominent issues for young callers include relationships, sexual activity, self-harm and physical health. Since the very beginning, it’s been What’s Up’s policy that children can call about absolutely anything at all — no problem is too big or small. Kids can even just phone up for a chat.

But there are also moments that are deadly serious for the What’s Up team and every year they receive more than 100 ‘duty of care’ calls, where the caller or someone else is in imminent danger of harm. In these instances, the counsellor will involve emergency services to ensure the young person’s safety.

The job of a What’s Up counsellor can be challenging and often they don’t see the final results of their work and advice, but they always hope for a successful outcome. Sometimes they’ll also receive affirmation of their work that makes it all worthwhile.

“Recently we received a wonderful letter,” says Lesley. “It was from a woman who used our service a decade ago. This was during a particularly hard time of her life where she was battling depression and anxiety. Like all our callers, she was able to regularly talk to the same counsellor about her troubles. Her letter said that the support she received from our counsellor was fundamental to her growth as a person and that she was so grateful for the support and kindness she received. Now she herself is going into a career in social work and counselling — it was so fantastic to know that What’s Up was able to make a difference in her life.”



0800 What’s Up counsellors are available to talk or Web Chat 365 days a year. Call free on 0800 WHATSUP (0800 942 8787) from 1pm-10pm Mon-Fri or 3pm-10pm on the weekends. Web Chat is open 5-10pm every day.

Media enquiries

For all media enquiries, contact Barnardos Brand Manager, Elena Walter.

E: elena.walter@barnardos.org.nz
P: 027 217 5175

 

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