Word from the Mayor: Why is it so hard to fix an identified need?
Last year a network of social services called Together Hurunui completed a service mapping exercise to identify a range of service providers that are currently being contracted and are delivering to people in the Hurunui District. Following the 2017 earthquakes, services in our district increased significantly for a limited period of time which gave us greater insight into what is required in our district and what would help members of our communities who have been impacted by years of drought and other rural and social issues.
This unmet need has been evidenced by some of the current providers and support the desire to secure some funding for a dedicated family based social worker. We are grateful for the services we do have but now understand the opportunity that still exists to do better.
I have been part of a process to speak with current providers, potential funders, and community members, all who support and understand the value to wellbeing that this potential service would bring.
Despite having the support and vision it remains a challenging process to secure the funding and deliver the desired result, as the generic family social worker falls outside the scope of Oranga Tamariki Partnering for Outcomes and the Ministry of Social Development. We want to be able to help people early on to prevent them from requiring the specialised services that are on offer – to be the ambulance at the top of the cliff, not the bottom.
I am working with the willing to continue to voice our district’s need and will continue to do so until all avenues have been exhausted. I can’t help but with agree with the words of Stuart Smith in last week’s column, when I quote “we should take a social investment approach where social services are targeted at the people who need it most”. Together Hurunui social services networking is collaborating in this space but desires to do more.
Together Hurunui is a collaborative and locally designed project whereby social services providers come together on a bi-monthly basis to educate, collaborate, and inform towards a better community. Our vision is “That all people in the Hurunui are valued and connected”.