Case studies and outcomes of Te Kahu Tōī, Intensive Wraparound Service
These case studies provide schools, family and whānau with an overview of what happens when a young person is accepted into Te Kahu Tōī, Intensive Wraparound Service (IWS).
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The Ministry of Education and Barnardos NZ commissioned two videos so that young people, their family/whānau and education providers could hear about others who have received Te Kahu Tōī IWS support.
Isaac’s story is about a 12 year old boy who wants to let other people know about his journey and the changes he has made.
“I want kids to be happy and I want them to have a better life. That’s the main reason why I did this video.” – Isaac. Age 12 years
Isaac's story - Video transcript
My name is Isaac. I am 12 years old and my life is going pretty well at the moment.
This is my dad, Steve.
- What’s the engine size?
- The engine size in that is 84 cc.
Wow. That’d make for a fast moped engine.
- It’d make a good little go kart too wouldn’t it?
- Yeah, it would.
From sales of stock you get 50 bucks.
And here is my mum, Marie, with my two sisters.
So yes, we’re doing personal recounts.
I’m in room 10 at intermediate and I like my teacher, Whaea Djuan.
But my life hasn’t always been like this.
- Mummy – flower.
- Yeah. Keep singing.
I remember when Isaac started showing signs that things weren’t right. That was when he was attending daycare. The changes were aggressiveness, didn’t want to do anything he was asked, didn’t want to, just basically, do anything. He was just in his own little bubble.
- See ya!
- See ya mummy.
He would have been six when he first started getting very, very violent, reaching for anything that he could hurt you with, and he had no qualms of attacking you.
Isaac’s schooling in the early days was really not good at all.
I couldn’t see anything good coming out of my schooling. I was getting really angry and frustrated because I always thought that I was getting into trouble because everyone hated me and they didn’t want me around them or anything.
He was very abusive towards students and teachers. Also property.
He’d just – if he was asked to do something, he’d just use his verbal abuse and just wipe things off a counter.
Computers – it didn’t matter what it was. And then he would run away from school and end up coming home.
I used to get into fights all the time and I got suspended a few times.
Things just got terribly out of hand at school and he was expelled. So I had him at home for two years. It was a nightmare because it meant him and I were always together. I couldn’t parent him. He wouldn’t do anything I asked him to do. He wouldn’t shower. He wouldn’t eat anything I cooked. He was abusive. By the end of the day, I was a shattered mess. I was very frightened of my son and I, I feared for my life and the life of my other two children. I was frightened that I had no control over him, which I didn’t. I was frightened I was gonna lose my son. I just felt so isolated.
It was terrifying for Mum and Dad, and you know, my two sisters. We didn’t have family outings, because we couldn’t.
We would be a, a yelling match going down the road.
Isaac would be swearing. He would be kicking the seats. He would be… if we didn’t have key locks on the door, he would open a door and just get out.
Our neighbours would look at us strangely. They just didn’t want to know us at all.
I blamed myself. I blamed myself because I felt I wasn’t parenting him right. I felt that there was – I’d missed something, that it was my fault. I blamed my husband. I blamed my children. It was awful.
Isaac was diagnosed with Asperger’s, autism and ODD, which is Oppositional Defiance Disorder.
I couldn’t understand that Isaac was having all these different emotions going through him and he was unable to even process anything.
Being angry was like - I felt so - it was like a blur. I was just in a rage, you know, and I’d just destroy anything that was in front of me.
So I can't really remember what it was like, because I was always in a blur. You know. I was in a rage.
One incident in particular that really was the hardest for us or for me especially was when one of our neighbours had to intervene because Isaac was, was attacking me.
The Police were called and we had seven police officers turn up at this particular call out. All very big officers. Some we knew, some we didn’t.
Isaac had what we were - what we now know as a bout of excited delirium, which is when they completely close off. Their heart rate is beating so fast for whatever situation they’re in and the Police called the ambulance. I didn't like seeing my son like that. What happened from then - you know, up at the hospital and having to deal with that as well.
But I think that was a turning point for us as well, where we knew we needed some stronger intervention, because nothing was working. And that's when the Intensive Wraparound Service came into our lives.
Good afternoon everybody. Thanks for coming to Isaac’s IWS review meeting.
We’ll start at celebrations at home and school and then we'll go into the plan and we'll look at what's working, what's not working and then we'll look at problem solving as a team.
I'm the Intensive Wraparound Service Psychologist working for the Ministry of Education.
Part of my job is to get good information around the family, what - looking at what their needs are and understanding what their needs are from a family perspective and looking at what Isaac's needs are and then
looking and finding out what the school's needs are, so - and what his needs are in the community. Then it's bringing everybody together to make one plan.
- Do you want to start Marie?
- Yeah, yeah, sure.
This is the team we put together to help us for the next two years.
Isaac’s done really, really well this, this past month. He’s interacting with the family way more than what he usually does.
Everything was explained, what they were going to be trying to achieve with us, how everything worked.
The accountability that we had to abide by, within signing up to IWS.
But in saying that, we were in charge as the family of this child all the way through.
The key of Wraparound Services is the child and the family’s at the centre of the service.
So, we're not going there to tell them what to do.
So we are there to listen to their voice and what works well for them.
I come from a very Māori background and I made that very positive and very clear at the very start, that that was where I wanted to be and that needed to be respected. And it was respected the whole way through.
No two cases are the same. So it is an individualised plan that we make and the plan follows the child wherever the child goes.
This is Whaea Donna, a family friend, and this is Yasa, my mentor.
We also funded for a mentor to work with him to get a better understanding around Isaac's thinking.
When I first met Isaac, he hadn't been to school for two years, and I met him when he was 10-years-old. So I had to find out where he was at.
He was unable to hold a pen, like a normal pincer grip. He diverted his attention quite often, but when he found the topic that he was confident in, that’s all he could talk about.
I think it was a key catalyst and change for Isaac, because Yasa spent a lot of time with Isaac in terms of supporting him while he was transitioning from not being at school into being full-time at school.
Yasa is great, because, you know, me and him clicked, just like me and Leny. And you know, we, we liked a lot of the same things.
And, you know, he took me out places.
I had to go right back to the basics, as in going for a walk along a, a bush track talking - talking and walking, talking and walking a lot. Having a mentor for Isaac was huge for me.
It allowed me to have space to be able to re-gather my thoughts, to be able to carry on - as well as I knew Isaac was getting help as well by having an outing from the house.
He was able to go out and be with somebody safe that was gonna take care of him.
I hadn’t been to school for two years, but Leny was trying to find somewhere for me to start again.
The three schools we approached and three of them said no. And the fourth school we approached, they didn't say yes immediately but they said they were happy to meet me initially and have a talk about what Isaac's needs are and what supports we could provide.
I didn't understand what I’d – the full Wraparound Service was at that stage.
I didn't realise that - what it was - but I knew this was a child with some very high needs and would demand a lot of attention.
He did mention to me that he believed in giving every child a second chance.
And then once I explained what Intensive Wraparound Service could provide or could do and the idea is supporting the family, school and Isaac in all these three areas and bringing everybody together and planning and problem-solving and addressing different needs, I think the principal, Ras, felt a bit more comfortable and confident about it.
I felt that we had to ease him into the school situation so he could make those initial contacts with the kids and, and work out how… because of his needs and, and that sort of thing, how he could react with them and respond to them and keep himself safe and stay safe with them and the teacher and so on.
Yeah, I was very nervous; felt very anxious. You know, I didn't know what they were gonna think of me; didn’t know what was gonna happen.
Yeah, I was pretty terrified.
We asked him what his favourite subject was and he said he'd like to do maths.
So we made an agreement with him that he could come into the maths class. And so he would come in and he'd sort of slip in and sit down with the other kids and then gradually as the time went on, he buddied up with other kids in the class.
So he could – they got, they got used to him slowly and then at the same time he got used to the other children as well.
The relationship that he built with his teacher and his principal developed very quickly.
He's got really good vocab that he uses in his story which I'm really pleased with.
And now he’ll read them out, too, is another thing.
- Before he would be, you'd be too shy, wouldn’t you?
And you wouldn't stand up and say anything.
But I think now he knows he's doing a good job, so he's willing to share.
And I think that's a really big step forward.
It was pretty good there – my teacher, Whaea Prue.
She was great. She was so – she was so supportive in every way.
I got him to do some artwork.
Aha, that’s big isn’t it, because... It is huge, because he just wouldn't - you wouldn't have a bar of it.
- Yep. I’m really pleased with you.
- You can do it, see. You can.
- Way to go, dude. Yeah.
Those meetings that we had together and the fact that I could talk about it with everybody else and find out the things that were happening at home, and then we could marry it and we'd, we’d get a better picture of the whole child and what was going on and then we'd talk about what would be good for him and then how I could help him in the classroom.
And like I said, we decided we’d pull him in a little bit more and put a little bit more pressure on him and a little bit more pressure on him to, to, to not accept some of the behaviours maybe that he might have shown.
And I'd confront him a little bit more.
But that was only after the support of everybody else and the discussion around whether that would -
we thought that would work for him or not.
So there – the support was invaluable as far as I was concerned.
Not coming in [knocking noise] on the, on the office door…
… quite so much. And, and to me that indicated that you're coping with more situations in a, in a way that you felt happier about.
So I'm hearing is that he's able to come and talk to you, problem solve and then carry on with that.
- That’s awesome.
- So that’s really cool, yeah.
Yeah, that’s, that’s great.
No, it’s working, that plan you had is working.
Definitely it is. I don't know if I would have ever agreed to have Isaac in my class knowing what his behaviour was like if I didn't have the support of the IWS. Because I hadn't taught a child that had the behaviours that I would - I was told that Isaac had.
To say that - say that he didn't have his interesting days would, would – and, and off days – would, would not be – would be a lie.
Because he had some days that were fairly challenging.
I didn’t want to be this angry kid. I didn’t want to, I didn’t want to be this angry little kid that gets into fights all the time.
I wanted to be who I am now. That's what I wanted to be.
A lot of the time it was fine, but when we did have those times where he went sideways it was a big problem. Yeah, a big problem.
And he could swear.He could fight with other kids. He could throw things around. Yeah, not, not easy.
But oh luckily I had Yasa, who was here as his mentor, so I could go and consult with him.
I’d either say what had happened or I would say, ‘You need to come and get him; he needs to go for a walk with you,’- because of whatever’s happened.
When I walk into the classroom and he’s catatonic, I would talk to him in blink language. I’d ask him a question.
I said, ‘remember the blinks’ and he would blink once for yes, two for no.
I said, ‘Okay, we’re gonna have to get you out of the classroom here, so we can go get some fresh air and going for a walk.
Are you okay with that?’
And he would blink yes or no. And then we would go for a walk around the playground or around the field.
I saw changes quite quickly because Yasa had a way of being able to communicate with Isaac at his level.
Don’t ask me how, but he was just like this amazing person that was able to break through those walls.
Not only did IWS work with me at school, we also made changes at home.
I know I had to change. I had to look outside the box and make changes within myself.
If you're just gonna focus on the child, from my experience, you are really not going to really make a lot of difference, because all the other areas are gonna stay the same.
One of the skills we were given was to not raise our voices to start with.
It was to come down to their level and not be this towering parent that's overlooking them.
It’s to come eye to eye and just to listen, listen to him and let him explain, as best he could, how he was feeling. And we did that one evening when he was getting quite upset.
I took him aside and I put my arm around him and that was huge in itself because he would never let me put my arm around him.
And he just broke down in tears and said, ‘Mum, I’m - I don't know what's wrong with me. I’m hurting. And help me.’
So that was the first time that we were able to break through.
She changed so much to try and help me, you know, and I can't thank her enough for that, because look where I am now.
It's definitely worked.
What we're talking about here is good because he's opening up his expressions and his communication skills.
- Here’s you here….
And you've got a mate. You, you get on okay with this guy?
Yeah. He’s alright.
What is this guy doing when he comes into your reality and you’re having fun with this guy?
I feel like that they shouldn't be like that.
That I want to be able to have 100 percent feed from my friend.
- Do you perceive it to be barging in?
- Yeah. Yeah, yeah, yeah.
Yasa taught me some social skills to help me interact with other people.
I'll probably go into the classroom, play on the laptop – my Chromebook.
You really need time to yourself.
Yeah. Like: calm down, think about it, think about things and – yeah.
Now, if someone or something makes me angry, eventually after just a little bit it dissipates.
You know, it just, it’s, it’s weird. It’s a weird feeling, but it just dissipates and then I just feel really calm again.
You will go into the classroom and you will go on to your Chromebook and you will take your own time out as a way of dealing with something as well.
And I really am impressed with the way that you have been doing that.
Isaac became a well-spoken, polite, friendly, intelligent, young man.
So all together, the whole package, just supported him in such a way that he – just blossomed in the end. He did.
Thank you everybody for sharing all the positives. So now we probably give Isaac an opportunity to share what's going well for him at school and also if he has any concerns that he wants to share before he leaves.
So let's start with the positives. Isaac, do you want to share with the team what's going well for you?
What I've been enjoying here is just - it's just been a terrific journey here and it, it's like a new start.
When I came here for the first year it was like a new start and I felt at home.
And the support I got from everyone was just, oh it just helped me so much, it was out of this world and it was just so, it was so new.
It was like foreign. But it turned out just great.
And I'd like to thank all you guys for that. And – yeah.
Oh, isn’t that nice?
When the time came to move to intermediate, IWS helped me transition to my new school.
They were happy to hear that you're not just focusing on all the problems.
This is a child with immense potential that is coming into the school and they could use those potentials for this child.
This is your clean slate. We don't care what's written on this paper.
This is your chance to make a fresh start - so you can be whoever you want to be, and we're here to support you. And he's taken that with both hands and just run with it.
We use technical vocabulary like….
He knew what he needed to do to better his learning, to better himself, and now he is one of my top students.
I think the collaboration with the Wraparound Service and his family has probably been one of the key components for his success.
- You ready, son?
Time for school, mate.
When I send my son to school now, I'm the proudest mum in the world.
I know that he's going to be a happy boy at school.
- Have a good day at school, eh.
- I will. You too. Mum, I know you don’t go to school.
I know that I'm not gonna get a phone call from school telling me that there's been an incident.
No other a child is going to be hurt, or a teacher is going to be hurt, or verbally abused.
I know that none of that sort of thing’s gonna happen - which I was getting phone calls daily when he was attending school in the earlier days.
My relationship with my mum is great because she's so happy now that she doesn't have to deal with that angry, younger me anymore.
Sure, we still have little fights and everything, but that's normal.
We also do so much together and yeah, it's, it’s a-, yeah, it's amazing. She's amazing.
Kapa haka to me is really important.
Everyone's friends and everyone cares for each other; everyone looks out for each other.
I just love it. Seeing him out on the lawn with his taiaha and doing the haka, he just melts my heart.
It's just lovely to see.
I settled into my new school and I've even been invited to apply for a leadership role for next year.
Oh, good morning, Isaac, how are you?
- Good, how are you?
- Good to see you. Great, mate.
I know there is a lot of competition from the other students, but I've decided to give it a go.
So, we’re here to do the leadership interviews.
Are you alright with that?
- Okay, buddy.
So the first question is: why would you like to be a student leader in 2019?
I think I'd love to become a student leader in 2019 because I want to make a difference in the school and I want to show people who I am.
Okay, thanks for that. Could you just tell me about the things that you're interested in?
I'm very interested in history, geography.
So which bits of history do you really enjoy?
I love learning about, like, wars. World War II, World War I, the Cold War.
- You can do that at university.
- Can I?
Yes. I did. Yeah, it’s great.
It’s the best thing in the whole world.
- And, and then you could teach it.
- Yeah. That’d be great. Good on you.
Another question is: how do you think you’ll work with the rest of the leadership team if you were chosen to be one?
I think I’d get on great. I think we’d learn how to socialise with each other and get to know each other well.
Cool, good man. Okay, great.
We were very, very lucky to have come across the IWS service, because, if we hadn't, we wouldn't be where we are today.
The services that we had in the past didn’t work.
- Your turn.
- Your turn, Nads.
We had all the services we needed within the IWS umbrella.
We had services to help with relationship, counselling.
We also had services to help with the other children.
Oh, so what does that equal?
These are the leaders. We just think they're going
to be great and we just wish them all the best.
So here they are.
Being a school leader next year is absolutely massive for me because I think that it's a responsibility, definitely.
And I think it's just a massive accomplishment, achievement, for me.
He's the son I always dreamt I would have. My heart is so full of love and respect and appreciation for him as an individual because he's, he’s achieved what he set out to do.
The goals he set for himself, he's achieved those goals, and I'm so proud of him.
So proud of my boy. I love him to bits.
Getting a good education – that’s my number one. From there I can get a scholarship in high school and, you know, go to university.
Get a good job where I earn good money to be able to support a family.
And yeah, have - have fun. Yeah.
Thank you Wraparound Service for everything that you've done for me.
I want kids to be happy and I want everyone around them to be happy and I want them to have a better life. That's the main reason why I did this video.
Voices of our Tamariki is about a group of young people who have gone on very different pathways to achieve success. These young people talk about their journey and their hopes for the future:
Voices of our Tamariki - Video transcript
I always used to play up at school and I used to get into a lot of fights with my little brother.
I used to have a lot of anger issues and used to kick off at people.
Here’s my teacher. Ms Nicole.
What’s your favourite hobbies?
Oh, my favourite hobbies...
When you’re not feeling safe, and you’re scared, and you’re like... a bit bummed out.
Yeah, see if you can get lots of dirt with it, because you can get all the roots.
I didn’t want to be this angry little kid that gets into fights all the time.
I wanted to be who I am now.
- Take a ten second break.
- Ten second break.
Being safe, you’re just smiling, laughing, all there. You’re loving, caring.
And yeah, managing your behaviour.
- Okay, see you at morning tea.
- Oh, see you at morning tea, yeah.
- No, fitness.
- Yeah, fitness. Yeah, see ya.
I’ve noticed a lot of progress that you’ve made since we first started this IWS journey.
What are some of the positive changes do you think you’ve made?
- I’ve controlled my anger.
Getting to know what a healthy friendship is, and the success of my learning.
How did you go on
your last one?
- I got 26/30.
- Hey, that’s awesome.
How do you reckon you’ve gone about controlling your anger?
I’ll sit down and explain to them why things are gone wrong.
And what I could have done better. Yeah.
The focus for me has been managing your learning, not your behaviour, because you’ve got that sorted now.
- Yeah, I don’t have to worry about it anymore.
I focus more on my learning now, and I, like, get better at it, and my writing.
I like writing.
Decide which number to double and which number to halve.
Matua Pep is a mentor of mine and he also helps teaching in the classroom.
- So what’s the new...?
Six times 10, yep.
He’s like a male role model to me and I look up to him in a lot of things.
I have a lot of respect for him because he has a lot of respect for me and teaches me a lot.
When I went to primary school - cos I’ve been to two; I got expelled from the first one - but in both, I didn’t really have any friends.
I was a loner, I guess.
So yes, we’re doing personal recounts.
What is a personal recount?
I wanted a better life. I didn’t want to have the condition I have, which is autism.
Here’s you, and you have a friend.
What is this guy doing, when he comes into your reality and you’re having fun with this guy?
I feel like that this guy can play with my friend some time later.
Are you feeling that this guy’s kind of barging in on your reality?
Well now, if someone or something makes me angry, I usually just keep it to myself.
I don’t express it, because, you know, that’s bad.
It - and eventually, after just a little bit, it dissipates.
Now I can, you know, hang out with friends and not get angry over little things and I feel so much better than I was.
I like kapa haka because it represents who I am and my culture.
Matua Pep taught me how to release my anger when I’m doing kapa haka.
He’ll rather see that than me releasing it on other people.
I do a work placement on a Monday.
Can I take your order?
The skills that we need in a barista is good communication towards our customers and our staff members.
- Can I get your help...
- ...So what’s a cappuccino?
- Aah it’s just a white.
Was it regular or large?
So what are your dreams about the future?
Either becoming a teacher, cos I love kids and kids are, like, so fun, and like - or if I can’t become a teacher, then I want to be a zookeeper.
I want to be a plumber. Probably have some kids. Have a wife. Have my own car, driver’s licence. And be renting my own house.
Getting a good education, that’s my number one.
And from there I can, you know, get a scholarship in high school and, you know, go to university or college.
- Have a good day at school, eh?
- I will.
And nah, get a good job where I earn good money to be able to support a family.
I don’t really have a male role model in my life.
Just Matua Pep and Mr Lindsay.
Mr Lindsay teaches me, like, how to be a man and...like talking about shaving and stuff.
And how to be safe.
Right, see if you can do it by yourself this time.
I’ve had a bad experience with social media but I’ve felt that I’ve changed my social media ways.
So give it a wipe first, because you can’t trust that first reading.
So we have to find out a healthy relationship and unhealthy relationship.
So I’ve completed that goal.
I see my life as going on the right track.
Not getting into too much mischief.
- That’s honest.
Get set, go!
Well, my mum’s proud of me for how far I’ve come for my journey.
One of my brothers is really proud of me.
I used to be really bad towards him but I’ve changed since I’ve been down here. Yeah.
My sisters and my brothers, we’re close, but we can have our moments.
I have to, like, set a good example for my siblings and just make sure that they’re safe.
We have so much more good times in our family now and mum and dad don’t have to worry about, you know, me going into a blind rage and everything like that.
If I had a son, I would like him to know that I’m there and that I care about him and that he’s not, he’s not by himself and that I can help him.
So I’m very proud of you, and what we have to do now is make sure that in the next stage, from school to the outside world, we’ve gotta plan it carefully, put everything in place
and you’re a very important part of the plan.
It’s amazing and it’s changed my life for the better, and for ever.
There is strong evidence that, when wraparound is done well (with high fidelity), young people with complex needs are more likely to be better able to engage in learning at their local school, in the home and communities or return home after a short enrolment with one of the three residential special schools.
Te Kahu Tōī contributes to improving child wellbeing through identifying underlying needs that exist for the young person and family and putting in place effective interventions such as parenting programmes and therapeutic supports.
Te Kahu Tōī support improves the young person’s outcomes in five key outcome areas to promote the wellbeing of the young people Te Kahu Tōī works with.
These five key outcome areas are:
- self-control of behaviours and emotions
- social skills
- attitudes and beliefs
- relationships with others
- access to safe environments and achievement in the home, the school and the community.
Evaluation of the IWS service in 2015 showed that that the service enabled young people to move towards improved life outcomes were they were able to:
- develop and maintain relationships with whānau
- attend school, participate and engage in learning.
Te Kahu Tōī, IWS has been evaluated to show it is an evidence based high fidelity programme that has successfully been adapted to fit a New Zealand cultural context. While the term Wraparound is widely used in New Zealand, few programmes are using the research-based model which has been proven to be more effective than simply wrapping services around families and providing intensive case management.
The research-based model of wraparound, when delivered with high fidelity, can produce better outcomes as shown in the Te Kahu Tōī, IWS outcome data.
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