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Empowerment evaluation of Te Taiwhenua o Heretaunga Family Start: Improving service delivery

Abstract
This thesis explores child maltreatment in New Zealand by considering service delivery of the Family Start programme at Te Taiwhenua o Heretaunga through an empowerment evaluation. The purpose of this research is to evaluate the service delivery process of the Family Start programme at this site to inform the organization and other Family Start key agents of possible improvements to service delivery so that the Family Start programme is best able to reduce the risk factors that are known to influence child maltreatment in New Zealand. The best possible service delivery by kaupapa providers supports sustainability and the continuity of service with Māori through continual funding. The two objectives of this research are to look at how well the Family Start programme is implemented at Te Taiwhenua o Heretaunga and to consider the cultural appropriateness of service delivery. Community psychology is the paradigm within which I position myself. I respect the values of community psychology that aim to improve the position of disadvantaged people through their participation in social change and community development. Te Taiwhenua o Heretaunga is a kaupapa Māori provider and I see an empowerment evaluation as a tool for internal evaluation to assist organizations who value self determination in their own practice. Both quantitative and qualitative data were collected and analyzed. There are two objectives to consider service delivery; firstly process aspects of service delivery are looked at and secondly the cultural relevance of service delivery to the population receiving the Family Start programme at this site. These are described as nine points about service delivery. The aim is to provide an empowerment evaluation for Te Taiwhenua o Heretaunga to inform, assist and improve service delivery of the Family Start programme in a culturally appropriate manner. The findings suggest better understanding is needed by Te Taiwhenua o Heretaunga Family Start staff, about the programme intentions, the use of tools such as Born to Learn/Ahuru Mōwai, individual family plans, service delivery levels, maintaining health records and ways to encourage collaboration between agencies. Te Taiwhenua o Heretaunga are shown in this research to be reaching the intended population for the Family Start programme, and service delivery appears to be culturally relevant to the clients on the programme at this time. The findings are limited by the fact that access to some information was restricted by Te Taiwhenua o Heretaunga Family Start management. Consequently, this research looked only at service delivery, and not the benefits of or barriers to the actual programme. The effectiveness of the programme in reducing child maltreatment is important but could not be measured in this research. Reducing child maltreatment is the main aim of the Family Start programme and would be measured through client outcomes. This research considered service delivery to see if the Family Start programme is offered optimally to assist the aim of reducing child maltreatment.
Type
Thesis
Type of thesis
Series
Citation
Little, G. R. (2010). Empowerment evaluation of Te Taiwhenua o Heretaunga Family Start: Improving service delivery (Thesis, Master of Social Sciences (MSocSc)). University of Waikato, Hamilton, New Zealand. Retrieved from https://hdl.handle.net/10289/5750
Date
2010
Publisher
University of Waikato
Supervisors
Rights
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