The Role of Organisational Support

In an ideal world the whānau and communities that young people live in would provide all of this support. However, at times communities have limited capacity so professional organisations are required to support and empower them. The organisations include education (schools, private providers), health (doctors, nurses etc), social services (social workers and counsellors), youth programmes, justice (police) etc. The express role of every professional organisation should be to build community capacity and empower independence, rather than maintaining dependency on the professional organisation. As we operate, our role is to assist with making connections and weaving those ‘invisible threads’.  For example; a ‘Strengthening Families’ meeting where a young person sits down and has a conversation with their Whānau, the school counsellor, a teacher, their netball coach and their youth group leader. In this case, the process of weaving these connections is just as much an end as it is a means to some other behavioural outcome for the young person. As organisations, it is vital that we are collaborating together in helping make a cohesive community, careful not to create organisational boundaries that can inadvertently create dividing lines within these villages, schools, sporting groups, marae and churches.

This support may be provided by a range of people and services – as seen as the layers in this figure:

We to Me Pic


Look for organisations that:

  • foster genuine and unconditional positive relationships.
  • proactively encourage volunteerism and ideally have a volunteer and worker base drawn from local community.
  • have a community presence, provide a relational hub and are much more than service providers in that they provide social cohesion.
  • verbalise their role in the community – ‘in, with or around’ – (see diagram above).
  • advocate for locals round tables - a sense of “we”.
  • share outcomes based on local data.
  • can give a relational history of the area or have been committed for decades.
  • encourage young people to participate in planning and running key activities.
  • look to mentoring long term.
  • are key activists in the community advocating and providing a forum for marginalised voices.
  • foster active local networks which are positive and non competitive.
  • listen and are flexible.
  • have intergenerational interaction.
  • give away intellectual property.
  • go the extra mile.


We must look out for things that have local contribution and local stakeholders that connect generations and have shared outcome.


Duane Major Quote


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