Ministry of Social Development, Family and Community Services

Family and Community Services (FACS) is part of the Ministry of Social Development. FACS was established in July 2004 to lead and co-ordinate government and non-government actions to support families and communities. FACS focuses on prevention and early intervention to build the capability and resilience of families and communities, and to reduce the number of families who are affected by family violence. Its goals are to:

  • Support social cohesion and participation in communities
  • Support family resilience and help families to be free from violence
  • Assist families and communities to access the information and knowledge they need to thrive
  • Build community capability and capacity.

FACS role is to:

  • Improve information about, and access to family and community services
  • Lead services planning and co-ordination of funding across government agencies and communities
  • Promote and fund programmes to support families and communities, and to prevent family violence.

Visit the website of Family & Community Services.

Projects 2011
Settling In

 “Settling In” is a community development programme established in 2003 that works directly with refugee and migrant communities to develop and deliver the social services they want. Settling In’s vision is a New Zealand that welcomes and celebrates diversity, where refugees and migrants settle well and are able to contribute to our nation in all aspects of life – social, economic, civic and cultural. “Settling In” operates in 14 locations around New Zealand:  Northland, Auckland, Hamilton/Waikato, Hawkes Bay, Tauranga/Western Bay of Plenty, Palmerston North/Fielding, Wellington,   Nelson/Tasman, Marlborough, West Coast, Christchurch/Canterbury, Waitaki, Dunedin and Eastern Southland.

The aims of the programme are to:

  • identify social service needs in refugee and migrant communities in collaboration with those communities;
  • purchase appropriate social services where available;
  • develop capacity, skills and knowledge within the refugee and migrant communities;
  • work collaboratively across government, NGO and community sectors.

Examples of the wide variety of work done through the Settling In project in 2010  include:

  • Community needs assessments in Palmerston North, Albany and Western Bay of Plenty.
  • The establishment of more Newcomers’ Networks, including in Palmerston North, Hamilton, Tauranga, Westport, Greymouth/Reefton and Hokitika.
  • Working with leaders from the Fijian Indian community in Auckland to encourage key people within that community to speak out and address the issues violence and to ensure safe homes;
  • Membership of the steering group that developed the Auckland Refugee Youth Action Network (RYAN)
  • Convening an “older peoples group” of people in Auckland which supports initiatives for isolated older people in the Ethnic communities to help them address the issues of elder abuse.
  • Working with agencies including Police, Settlement Support (DOL), Regional public health, human rights and a wide range of others to deliver seminars including human and legal rights and responsibilities in New Zealand.
  • Working with Muslim communities in Auckland, Hamilton and Wellington, to educate leaders and to encourage them to take action to speak out about the rights and responsibilities of New Zealand citizens. This includes speaking out about family violence.
  • Supporting Muslim women’s groups in Auckland and Hamilton to undertake education and collaboration to ensure they are building safety and security in their homes.
  • Convening the “Collaboration and Change” seminar in Auckland for those working with refugees and migrant communities in the wider Auckland and Hamilton area.
  • Helping to establish English language learning opportunities for older women in the Sikh community in the Western Bay of Plenty.
  • Helping to establish women’s coffee mornings to facilitate communication and reduce isolation for women.  These venues enable women to open up about issues and situations that they may otherwise feel constrained about discussing.
  • Fostering links between ‘new coasters’ and local Maori communities on the West Coast.
Settling In Reports

The Settling In reports “take stock of emerging issues, to coordinate services and to plan for the ongoing needs of the expanding local migrant communities”, aiming to identify needs, gaps in services and suggestions for further action. The research is based on consultation with local and central government, non-government organisations, local migrants, and census data. In 2011, FACS plan to release reports for Gore, Oamaru and Dunedin.

 The following reports are already available:

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