Te Kahu Tōī: Intensive Wraparound Service

An overview of Te Kahu Tōī: Intensive Wraparound Service and the process that must be followed in order to apply.

Level of compliance Main audience Other


  • Boards 
  • Principals and Tumuaki
  • Teachers and Kaiako
  • Parents, Caregivers and Whānau
  • Administrators

Summary of Te Kahu Tōī: Intensive Wraparound Service

Te Kahu Tōī: Intensive Wraparound Service differs from many other service delivery strategies. It provides a comprehensive, holistic, youth and family/whānau driven way of responding when children or youth experience significant challenges in their lives.

Participation in the scheme is optional. Applications are made by Ministry of Education learning support staff, RTLB and day specialist schools or fund-holder schools.

Te Kahu Tōī Wraparound puts the child/youth and their family/whānau at the centre. With support from a team of professionals (including a Ministry Te Kahu Tōī psychologist and a Te Kahu Tōī intensive wraparound facilitator) and natural supports, the family/whānau’s ideas and perspectives about what they need and what will be helpful drive all the work in wraparound.

Te Kahu Tōī waiata was written by Tonga Karena in 2019 at Parihaka for the service. Our waiata summarises the service intention.

Te Kahu Tōī delivered within the spirit of Parihaka

Te Kahu Tōī delivered within the spirit of Parihaka transcript

Female Participant: How long have we got?

Female Participant: How long's a piece of string?

Female Participant: I really need to know.

Female Participant: Where's Derek? I spoke to him when he was having a cuppa and said to him, [indistinct 00.11]

[indistinct conversation 0.11 to 00.21]

David: How familiar are the group with the song?

Female Participant: [indistinct 00.22]

David: Oh, so we're just gonna run it through it. Okay. I haven’t sung this [indistinct 00.30] Okay. Kia ora everyone. Kia ora. Te Pane o Mataohu. Ah, Te Moananui-a-Kiwa te moana. Ko Derek tōku ingoa. And I don’t work for the Ministry of Education. [laughter] I’ve, ah, been called in just to, um, tautoko with the mahi or the waiata today. So what we’ll do is we’ll just sing it. I think there’s lyrics there if you [indistinct 00.54] Toru, whā.

[All sing:]

Kei te pou tapu

Te wānanga o Rongo

Kei te pou tangata …

Female Participant: Ah so the waiata, of course, was, ah, created in Parihaka. That was back in 2019.

Female Participant: We were honoured to be invited to Parihaka, and we wrote all of the words that we had that we thought summed up the spirit of Te Kahu Tōī. The intention was to bring those words, put them in the bus when we went down the Coast and went onto Parihaka, and we gave them to Tonga Karina, who was one of our hosts.

Male Participant: The waiata is capturing what we're trying to do, which is be that that, that, um, Kahu Tōī, that cloak of support, ah, for the kids and their families. It's, um, highlighting the, the love they deserve, the support they deserve.

…. Mō te tamaiti

Female Participant: [indistinct 2.18] [laughter]

Male Participant: Um, listen, that was good, but it felt like halfway through that kind of dropped out badly. I think when you sing, drive it from your belly.

Female Participant: Parihaka symbolised, as we know, um, passive resistance and being quite a key symbolic ar-, um, movement for Aotearoa.

Female Participant: The example of the children bringing bread to soldiers who were there to encircle, entrap and terrorise their people, but giving them bread in the face of that and how powerful an example that is, when actually you want - may want to return an eye for an eye. No, you lead by example. So the whole waiata is about weaving those strands of Te Kahu Tōī, ah, and weaving them in a way that embodies that spirit of peaceful resistance.

Male Participant: Can I just suggest something? Um, so my mum, she's a kaikaranga. She said, it’s not te pou tapu – it’s [indistinct 3.20] - just for everyone's pronunciation. So let's do that again and we'll just stay on tune and just really drive the pronunciation in the words.

Kei te pou tapu

Female Participant: That song, Te Kahu Tōī, our waiata, just has so many layers of meaning.

Male Participant: Kind of like giving us the support and the moral authority, if you like, empowerment to work for these kids and, um, to persist and to do it in a peaceful way.

Female Participant: To walk in their shoes and to ask ourselves every time we walk into the whare of a family, how much am I putting energy into walking in their shoes if they’re Māori? Because they’re gonna have to be putting a lot of energy all of the time, out of necessity, to walk in your shoes - speaking to us Pākehā.

Kei te pou tapu

Te wānanga o Rongo …

Male Participant:

There's a saying – well, ah, it’s a whakataukī that we sometimes use in the service that goes, ah, “mauri ako ako paenga. Waiho ko oka wheru” which is, ‘Recognise my strengths and look past my weaknesses.’ So we try to work in a strengths-based way.

Female Participant: So that's where the waiata comes from, is that weaving the strains of the strengths of survival into a plan, and that takes time, persistence, but also kind of a patience.

Male Participant: We work in that way where we're trying to help kids, ah, fulfil their potential.

[indistinct 5.18]

Male Participant: Oh, you mean a key change.

Female Participant: Yeah.

Male Participant: And really think about the lyrics that we're saying, because, like, you're talking about tamariki. Especially when I think about when I was at Parihaka, this wasn't just anyone teaching the song, was like, quite, it was quite significant. So yeah, let's just drive it a little bit more and a little bit harder.

Male Participant: Persistence always, always wins in the end.

Male Participant: Louder.

Kei te pou tapu.

Male Participant: That simple word just, you know, encourages us to, to stick by the kids. We know that there will be ups and downs in the [TIMECODE 6.00] period of service, that people will ask awkward questions around, um, you know, can't you do this faster [laughs] or, ah, can't you force things to happen – ah, but you can't. So we always go back to this peaceful and, and persistent way of working with the kids, so yeah, understanding how things look from them and understanding how things need to change.

Female Participant: I'm talking with my facilitators and psychologists about, okay, so how have you involved the team in that decision? How has the family had a voice in that? Where's the child?

Male Participant: You know, people might not look at them as children with needs, ah, but they are. They, they are very precious, and the, the waiata highlights that, and it highlights the approach that's needed to support them - because they live in a very hazardous world.

Toru wha.

Kei te pou tapu….

Female Participant: And these are kids that people have written off and you don't know what's in their future. And that waiata is about just doing your best for the time you have with them. It's just pride, really, being able to sing it and to hold on to that hope that you’re trying to bring into people’s homes.

Te pou o te oranga

E Rongo e āio

Male Participant: This is the first job I've had where I've, I’ve thought, we are making a difference here. So - and the difference is often in that the - we encourage the families and the kids to dream about what they would like to do, what they feel they need to do.

Kei te pou tapu….

Male Participant: We construct these bespoke plans that are unique to the aspirations and the situations right then and there, um, and we convert that into tangible outcomes for them.

Te pou o te oranga

E Rongo e āio

Female Participant: There’s strength in unity, and as we were singing, you could really sense that wairua. It's almost as if we were back in Parihaka and singing that waiata for the first time.

Mō te tamaiti

Female Participant: It’s got a funky tune, but it’s really – it's got us – us as a team that really cares.

Mō te tamaiti

Te Waiata o Te Kahu Tōī

Te Waiata o Te Kahu Tōī lyrics (in both te reo Māori and English)

Kei te pou tapu

Te wānanga o Rongo

Kei te pou tangata

Te pou o te oranga

E Rongo e āio

Whakamaua Te Kahu Tōī

Mō te tamaiti


Here is the sacred foundation

The teaching of peace

Here is the foundation for the people

The foundation of wellbeing

Experience peace and calmness through rongo

Weave the difficult strands of the Tōī to enhance life

For the child

(Repeat from the beginning x2)

Who Te Kahu Tōī is for

Te Kahu Tōī, Intensive Wraparound Services (IWS) is a support programme for young people aged 5-14 years who:

  • have behaviour, social and/or learning needs that are highly complex and challenging (and may have associated intellectual difficulty), and
  • require support at school, at home and in the community.

Te Kahu Tōī provides a bespoke comprehensive, holistic, youth and family/whānau driven way of responding when children or youth experience significant challenges in their lives.

During the Wraparound process, a team of people who are relevant to the life of the child or youth collaboratively develop an individualised plan of care. The video below explains the foundations and outcomes of Te Kahu Tōī Intensive Wraparound.

Foundations and outcomes of Te Kahu Tōī

The foundations and outcomes of Te Kahu Tōī transcript

David: When we started Te Kahu Tōī, people told us we could never do this. They said, ‘You're working with the toughest kids in New Zealand. Most of them are going to be Māori…’ – and they are – “… and you’re not going to get the outcomes that you need.” We just proved we can do that when you have a system that you can resource to the needs rather than to a formula.

Female Participant: Tēnā koutou katoa. It gives me great honour to introduce our rangatira who, by trying, he has succeeded in creating a service that really cares and provides a hope and environment for all of you to actually genuinely care, and as he’s always telling us, ‘to do what it takes.’ [applause]

David: [Te reo 1.20 to 1.24] Haere, haere, haere. When we first started wraparound, it was mainly Pākehā. Look at our room now. We've got a good cross-section, a diverse group, and that's because wraparound, it's holistic and it's ecological at its base. And those things really, really suit a wide, diverse community, particularly Māori.

David: The wraparound process always starts with consultation and asking what the family want, and the young person. So you start off with the child and they’re the, the centre of our intervention. The next most important aspect is the whānau, and so you wrap the whānau around. Then in the educational context, we move to the classroom teacher and make sure the programme is geared towards helping them with their education programme. And then within the school, how they’re going within the school. So if it's a child with behavioural problems, you’ll say, we have to have a little bit of tolerance. The usual school rules aren't going to work for this student, so we're doing something different. It's not that we're not doing something - we're just doing it a little bit differently. Then how did they go within their community? So what is it we need to do with that to help them be successful citizens within that community?

David: Okay. I'm really interested to hear how you got on with Colin.

Female Participant: Yeah, he's, he's just changed, oh, across everything. At the start of Te Kahu Tōī, he was in fights; he was in trouble in the community. He'd seriously assaulted and hurt another child. He was starting fires in the community. So there was a lot of Police involvement and he was in a really bad space. Um, he was stood down, um, and suspended from school several times and redirected back. So school, he was completely disengaged.

David: And the young people come to us. Um, over 60% of them are not engaged in school.

Female Participant: His relationships at home were really fraught. Mum was really scared of him at that point because, ah, his escalations and rages at home were just incredible. So across every area he was struggling, but now the, the changes are just amazing.

Female Participant: Because of the specific goals that were developed, it was his voice that really drove those. We were calling on him to rate some of those specific goals, so that helped him to see, you know, where he was heading.

David: Listening to what children want is a real critical part of Te Kahu Tōī. Um, also the whānau, but we need to first listen to the young person themselves.

Female Participant: We adapted that, um, IWS plan for him based on his feedback. So there were lots of 10 steps forward, two steps back. But we kept his voice central to that, to that process so that, um, yeah, he was the driver of tr-, of the change that that he wanted.

David: So, you know, some people say that if you let Colin drive that, you'll go backwards and forwards. But, but the best thing about that is that he owns that, that stuff. If someone else does it for me, he may not own it. So I guess that's the best outcome in the long term – it just takes a little bit longer.

David: Some young people come out with a hell of a lot different priorities than the adults have got, and it's really important to listen to that. It might be that their priority is to have kids come to their - other kids come to their birthday party, for example. Seemingly quite a minor thing for many adults, but for young people, that can be one of the most important things in their life.

David: The children's best interests must be our first concern, and then that the family must be. Next to that we have the kid in the middle and the family second, and goodness me, the United Nations agrees with us.

David: So the, um, individual data shows improvement. Um, can you just tell us a little bit about that? What – you know, you’ve measured that.

Female Participant: Yeah.

David: So what, what did you find out over the time?

Female Participant: Yeah. So when we, when we started working with Colin, um, everything for the life predictors, he was in the reds for - across all areas for self-control, attitudes, relationships, how he was doing in the external environments and things. So….

David: And the red being really highly at risk?

Female Participant: Red band, yeah. He was the ones, he was at the ones highly risk - risk across all areas.

David: Once we get the young person, we have a look at how they’re going against those, ah, five critical areas, um, of - for their future development that came from the Dunedin longitudinal study. We need to know, um, how well they can, they control themselves – self-control. Um, we need, we need to assess that level and it's often very low.

Female Participant: And then what we saw after a year, he'd made movements. Some were still in the orange, somewhere in the yellows, but we definitely made some movements. We found at, at around about a year, um, Colin went through a bit of a, a low point again with his mental wellbeing, but he came and actively sought help for that. And after that, there was just a real steady increase in, in across all areas. And in the end we were in the yellows and in some areas in the greens, which was, which was just brilliant.

David: We look at whether they're engaging in a safe environment. Because, you know, if they're engaging in unsafe environments, literally anything can go wrong.

David: I see the attitude and perception and values took a little bit longer to establish. Can you tell us about that?

Female Participant: I think he'd heard so much about him being the bad kid that he'd taken on that persona really to every extent. And, and, he, he felt very guilty about what he was doing. And also because he'd gone through various trauma as a child and adverse experiences, I think he'd just taken all that on. So it was very hard to shift that, um, lack of self-belief or self-worth. And he'd never been able to learn. He'd not had success in the school setting. So across the board, he, he had just not experienced much success in his life.

David: This is not easy to do. It's not easy for the young person. It's not easy for anyone within Russian doll. It is not a cotton wool programme, but it's a programme that focuses on strengths and building on those strengths, focuses on building skills that will last them, you know, right now, next month, next year, and when they move into adult life. And if you work with that, even if you don't get instant success, you're more likely to get success later on.

Female Participant: So, um, making – you know coming to the meetings, hearing the celebrations at the start was a massive thing for him because people were saying good things about him, you know, and he was hearing all the positive stuff. And then each success within the On Track or with his mentors or, or whatever he was doing as part of the Te Kahu Tōī, um, plan, each success, I think, brought a little bit more belief in himself.

David: Most of our kids get told of their weaknesses day in and day out. So one of the challenges for the psychologist and, and also for the facilitator is to find those strengths, identify them, celebrate them, make them up there as important, and in many cases, more important, than what might be perceived as a weakness, because it’s a strength that will bring them through. And when people start celebrating those things, rather than only focusing on what they can't do, they get - they feel better about themselves and they, they work harder.

David: The theory of change is building family assets. And as soon as you improve the assets of a family or the skill set of the individual, you increase their chances to be successful later on. Man, this is not rocket science, but how come we can't get our head around that in New Zealand? Why is it we're so hell-bent on resources and not on improving assets, improving people's ability to solve problems going forward?

Female Participant: You know, this is a family where there is significant mental health, so it's about taking the time to connect with them. So mum, while she goes to work, that was the only place that she went out to in the community. She would come home after that and that was her place of safety. Um, her daughter - quite similar to Colin. The only way that she could go out in the community was with the security of her boyfriend at the time.

David: Right.

Female Participant: So they would do the shopping together. And then we've got Colin, who is highly anxious to begin with. Um, throughout the IWS process, his, um, his wellbeing was addressed, but it was about his choice at what point he went and actually sought medical intervention for that. Mum, now, and I think with the improvement for Colin, you know, the outcomes for Colin, she's got a lot more confidence. She's the one that goes out shopping now.

David: Mm.

Female Participant: So yeah.

David: So you may get a generational change?

Female Participant: Could be. Could well be.

David: Trudy, how did you manage to get professional help for the, ah, mental health issues to do with Colin?

Trudi Jordan: We did a referral to CAMHS crisis line. Um, they said that it was going to take a little while to come on board, so I wrote a letter of support that mum took with Colin to the doctors and they got some immediate sort of, um…

David: Fantastic. Fantastic.

Trudy:  …medicine.

David: Yeah. We can hire a psychiatrist or psychologist or occupational therapist or speech language therapist because you've got flexibility with money.

David: So not only do we need to provide an individual programme, we need to make sure that that program matches the needs of the whānau and the young person that you're working with.

David: If you take an equity position, it is unequal resourcing because there's unequal need. In other words, some students need $5,000 and some students need $105,000, depending on their needs. You can't give them all the same amount of money. You've got to have a system that's flexible enough to give the 5,000 or the 105,000. You need to make sure that you don't start saying, well, there's not enough money, so we'll just do a little bit of this, a little bit of that - because as soon as you do that, you won't get the outcomes that you need.

David: If you read the Treaty, we guaranteed that we would protect Māori. We did a number of other things. There's the participation, but Article 3 talked about protection. That protection was to protect Māori from underachieving.

David: You have to have the heart for making sure that you're able to be flexible to meet the needs of a young person and a particular culture. If you take it for Māori, you really have to honour the Treaty, and to do that, you need to have the heart to say that under the Article 3 of the protection you're just not going to accept that Māori aren't going to do as well as Non-Māori. And as soon as you make that decision, you're able to resource for that need rather than, um, giving everyone the same, the same support. Cos support will be different depending on what those, ah, Māori students need and their whānau need.

David: It's about the process, it's about individuals and it's about whānau, and you get the outcomes and those outcomes are fantastic, and what's more, we have unbelievable data to prove it. And the national data shows us that we make sure young people are twice as able to be successful than what they were before they started. I wanna know, are Māori doing as well as anyone else? Are Māori still in school. Because that's my obligation as a public servant.

David: So data is very critical for the implementation. It's not just valuable to say, oh, we've been successful. It's very valuable for making sure the practitioners, the specialists, can see how they're going compared to others.

David: We've got to find a pro-social pathway. So within a whānau, you need to make sure that you find a pro-social pathway for that young person, because it can make the difference for them in the future.

David: The opposite to what we do is to take the young person and remove them out of this context, um, and move them over to a separate group or a separate provider. Um, and that means that all these things here are away from the young person, um, and if these people here have got the same needs as the child, they’re creating almost an academy or a learning point where they learn more inappropriate behaviour. Because the models they're picking up here are not dissimilar to them. Whereas in this context, you've got a full range of models, full range of skills and ability, temperaments, personalities, you name it. And so if a young person in this context does something completely anti-social or aggressive, um, negative, these people here are likely to, um, moderate that and say, ‘Hey, don't do that, Hone, that's not a good idea.’ In this context, it’s far more acceptable to do extreme behaviour or anti-social behaviour because other people have got the same set of behaviours. So if you're going to be successful in the medium to long term, you need to provide the support within, um, a natural context, a holistic approach around the young person, not an artificial basis of removal.

David: So some of you are working with some quite challenging kids, some violent kids. And I got a letter a few weeks ago from some grandparents, and they were thanking me for our team sticking with their son while he’s in lock-up, while he's in prison. He killed someone. And she was saying just how important it is.

David: We cannot walk away from our young people when they need us most.

David: As with, with all kids, the, these kids let us down. You get them on the right pathway and something goes wrong. It can be something as simple as the households having the power switched off because they've run out of money that flips it over. What you mustn't do is walk away when that happens. You've got to say, well, they need me now more than they've ever needed me, and I'll be available. We'll never give up. We'll never walk away from you. We never say no to who we pick up. We never say no to the highest needs. Some, some students don't get our service because their needs aren’t big enough, but they never not get our service because it's too big. So they can have the most pressing needs you could ever imagine – like they've just killed someone - and we will still take them on.

Q: Why do you do it?

David: Well, because they need us. That's when they need us most. And if you walk away from people when they need you most, what hope have they got? When we can demonstrate we've been highly successful, I find that really gratifying. I've kind of gone through a whole career waiting to be able to do that, and finally we were able to do it.

Kei te pou tapu, Te wānanga o Rongo.

How Te Kahu Tōī works

The young person and their family/whānau members work with an Intensive Wraparound (IW) Facilitator and Psychologist to build their wraparound team, which can include the whānau’s friends and people from the wider community, as well as providers of services and supports.

The whānau and young person take the lead in deciding team vision and goals, and in developing creative and individualised services and supports that will help them achieve the goals and vision. Team members’ work together to put the plan into action, monitor how well it is working, collect outcome data and change the plan as needed.

Te Kahu Tōī, Intensive Wraparound Service (IWS) aims to help the young person develop the skills to:

  • learn new, positive ways of behaving
  • stay at their local school, or return there after time at a residential special school
  • behave in a positive and social way
  • enjoy a successful life at school and home.

Goals of Te Kahu Tōī

  • Young people with the greatest need have access to the people and processes in which decisions are made as well as access to needed resources and services.
  • Whānau’s voices are heard and they are full decision makers in charge of their own lives.
  • The whānau has ownership of the planning process in partnership with the team and is in agreement and committed to carry out the plan.

Roles and ways of working in Te Kahu Tōī

Te Kahu Tōī Intensive Wraparound Service staff include psychologists and facilitators who work with whanau/family, tamariki and professionals. Te Kahu Tōī Intensive Wraparound staff have specific roles that help the team problem solve and learn together. The video introduces you to way Te Kahu Tōī practitioners work for diversity and equity of outcomes. 

How Te Kahu Tōī works for diversity and equity of outcomes.

Lisa: Te Kahu Tōī is an evidence-based wraparound service. It was developed for Aotearoa New Zealand in conjunction with the University of Victoria Wellington.

We use 10 principles of practice, and how we work with families is how we work with each other as professionals. That's why we can say we're doing wraparound.

[Musical interlude 00.38 to 00.48]

Lisa: Facilitators guide the process and are at the heart of what we do. And just as they keep the family at the centre, they encourage effort and empathy from the team.

Kiriana: When I meet a family, they've had a lot of people around them…

Lisa: Mm.

Kiriana: … and they're quite lost in the sea of people that have been around them - sometimes for quite a long time.

Lisa: Yeah.

Kiriana: Um, their voices are lost, they're lost, they're not sure. So for me, I come in and I try to help them clarify what it is…

Lisa: Mm.

Kiriana: …what it is that they want to do. And then I help facilitate our process with the team. But I'm here to help families understand who you are, what it is you can bring to this team…

Lisa: Mm.

Kiriana: …and how you're going to do that.

Lisa: Mm.

Kiriana: And then as a team, I help the families clarify that, collect all that information and put it [TIMECODE 2.00] into one plan.

Lisa: That’s a, um, very abstract thing for families who have experienced services coming in and out.

Kiriana: Mm.

Lisa: I suppose your experience with your daughter…

Kiriana: Yeah.

Lisa: …has helped you really understand the practicalities of lots of people all coordinating.

Kiriana: Mm.

Lisa: What do you, what do you think Te Kahu Tōī does differently?

Kiriana: With my daughter, um, after her accident at a young age, I spent probably the first two years – we had a lot of people suddenly arrive in our lives. Um, not only were we dealing with our own trauma and the impact it was having on us personally….

Lisa: Yeah.

Kiriana: … um, but suddenly all these people who were coming in to support us,

I spent a long time every week ringing people. ‘Who are you?’ ‘Oh yeah, that’s right.’ ‘What are you doing again, and when are you gonna do it?’

Lisa: Mm hm.

Kiriana: If I had Te Kahu Tōī…

Lisa: Yeah.

Kiriana: .. that would have helped me so much, because I had – like, honestly, I had probably six different plans that I was having to try and work out and keep track of.

Lisa: Right.

Kiriana: Whereas Te Kahu Tōī, that’s what we do, for the families.

Lisa: How does that impact the work that you do with teams and families?

Kiriana: Um, it’s, it’s a very much I have to keep reminding teams and families that we are not ‘instead of’.

Lisa: Yeah.

Kiriana: We are not instead of team members. We’re an addition to the team and we are here to help the team work out that one plan…

Lisa: Mm.

Kiriana: …and progress that one plan for this family, and the outcome of that. You can see the success and the progression really clearly.

Lisa: Mm.

Kiriana: When the teams [TIMECODE 4.00] start being on the same page, following the plan….

Lisa: Mm.

Kiriana: … progressing the plan and as a facilitator, I’m just facilitating that process.

Lisa: Yeah.

Kiriana: And to hand those reins over to the family, so that when IWS or Te Kahu Tōī aren’t in their lives anymore, they’re doing it.

Lisa: The other side of it is helping practitioners remember the decisions that we make are not ones we’re gonna have to live by – families are, and children are.

Kiriana: Yes. So the ownership, um, of being responsible as a team member to the family.

Lisa: Yeah.

Kiriana: And so we just help the teams to actually find that clarity and find that pathway…

Lisa: Mm.

Kiriana: … or pathways. There’s usually more than one. [laughs]

Lisa: Yeah. So it’s more that systemic approach. Okay, so we’ll address that short-term, but we’ll do some medium term planning so that we’ll have some long-term outcomes. And then just coming back in, being at peace with the fact that there’s never a fix – it’s always a process.

Kiriana: It’s lifelong.

Lisa: Mm.

Kiriana: And people continually change. Lives continually change.

Lisa: Yeah. [Music in background] So while facilitators guide the process, psychologists partner with families and professionals to problem solve. They help teams learn how things can be different. Most importantly, they provide evidence to tamaiti, to whānau, that life can be worth living.

Kahu: Part of the role of the psychologist is to be strength-based…

Lisa: Mm.

Kahu: … and to be child-focused and to go back, always go back [TIMECODE 6.00] to those principles.

Lisa: What do you bring to a family?

Kahu: Well, depending on the culture of the family. So if I’m working with a Māori whā-, whānau, one thing that I know about Māori, because I am Māori, is that they like to see someone standing at their door that looks like them. And it’s not bringing that right forward in their faces – it’s about the way that you behave.

Lisa: Mm hm.

Kahu: So it’s in all those behaviours when you first met. So having an awareness of what’s required culturally from the families that you work with. For Māori, it’s really important to be able to build relationship, so whakawhanaungatanga, and I don’t say to whānau, ‘Right, now we’re going to do some whakawhanaungatanga.’

Lisa: Yeah.

Kahu: I will do that in the way that I – my actions – I am with you.

Lisa: Mm.

Kahu: So I’ll mihi to them, but, but Māori are diverse as well, so….

Lisa: Mm.

Kahu: … you know, colonised, and urbanised.

Lisa: Mm.

Kahu: Um, and they’re the ones that explicitly tell me – explicitly, but implicitly through their actions…

Lisa: Yeah.

Kahu: … how they define themselves as Māori. So you know, I’ll mihi. I’ll just say, ‘Kia ora,’ you know, ‘I’m Kahu. I’m from Te Kahu Tōī. I’m the psychologist. That sounds like a very fancy name, but actually what my job is, is to hear your voice and to support you in any way that I can around the principles of Wraparound.’

Lisa: Mm.

Kahu: So it’s still principle-focus and it’s cultural, culturally-focussed as well. [TIMECODE 8.00]

Lisa: Yeah, for every family.

Kahu: For every family. 

Lisa: How do you help the team here see – feel about the child that is the so-called problem?

Kahu: If we get too focussed on the problem, we won’t find the answers in the problem. The problem is the problem. They’re not the solutions.

Lisa: Yeah.

Kahu: So let’s look at times when they saw that tamaiti, you know, following instructions or being helpful or being that leader.

Lisa: Part of my role is helping people understand the team effort that's required to actually do wrap around properly. And one of the questions they have is what's the role of the psychologist? We've already got a psychologist from learning support. We've already got a CAMHS psychologist. We've got a report from the Courts. What do we need another one for?

Kahu: It may take time for the team to decide what my role is, but my focus is whānau voice and choice. And when I say whānau, that includes the tamariki or the rangatahi involved. And so even in just that little piece of work, is actually, if you're doing it in-depth…

Lisa: Mm.

Kahu: … because you're getting to know the whānau, you're getting to know the, the tamaiti, the rangatahi, that takes time, and particularly if you're working with Māori whānau.

Lisa: Mm.

Kahu: And yes, those other psychologists are part of the team, but they have their focus. So they've come into the Te Kahu Tōī process with a focus.

Lisa: Yeah.

Kahu: And so my role as to ensure that that focus plus mine [TIMECODE 10.00] is wrapping around and everyone else that's involved, is wrapping around that whānau.

Lisa: Yeah. What I hear and what I see in your practice within teams and with our facilitators is, is like a community psychology combined with a therapy psychology. So you're using your words and your body to help people hear each other in a different way.

Kahu: Mm. Even though I do do, you know, clinical work in a therapy room, I'm bringing that into my team work as well, and I'm bringing that with whānau as well.

Lisa: Yeah.

Kahu: So noticing - you know, noticing the trauma and how you respond to that. So if whānau are saying, you know, school don't understand us or health don't understand us, then really unpacking with the whānau what that means and what would help them. What would help? What do they need…

Lisa: Mm hm.

Kahu: … for those services?. So really working in that therapeutic way with the whānau to help them understand that this is a problem, but we can find solutions for it - and solutions that fit with them and then advocating for that in the team hui. Because sometimes whānau, you know, they, they might say this on the side, but find it hard to say it in team…

Lisa: Mm.

Kahu: … in team hui. So being able to put that to the team in a way that's palatable to the team. Now that takes some skill too, because sometimes you need to be a disrupter. [mild laugh] And I thought this is the, the breadth of the work as a psychologist. You know, you need to decide when you're an advocate. [TIMECODE 12.00] You need to decide when you're a, a peacemaker and…

Lisa: Mm hm.

Kahu: you know, smoothing over things. You need to decide when you're going to just rock the boat a little bit.

Lisa: That brings me to the point of the role of data. I mean, people talk about evidence-based a lot. And I think in wraparound, we have evidence that the framework works. But inside each and every team, there's a different kind of evidence being gathered, checked against reality…

Kahu: Mm hm.

Lisa: …against practicality, and then brought back to the team again. How do you know what you know? Because we're here in a place with the most complex kids and we've had the best of, ah, services.

Kahu: How do we know it's working?

Lisa: Yeah.

Kahu: Well, the, the, the data tells us whether it's working or not.

Lisa: Mm.

Kahu: So if we've got an intervention, yes, we are collecting data. We have to collect it. You can't not collect it…

Lisa: Yeah.

Kahu: …because how do you know it's working or not?

Lisa: But a lot of teams would be, ‘we're working on this. This is, this is our data.’ Whereas in a wraparound, it's our [indistinct 13.11]…

Kahu: Well it needs to be shared.

Lisa: Yeah.

Kahu: Yeah. You know, if - and this does happen in teams – um, when we have asked people to collect information and data and to do it in a very simple way…

Lisa: Mm.

Kahu: …it's very difficult for them - really, really hard for people. Having said that, though, this is part of the team, and it's not just my problem.

Lisa: Yeah.

Kahu: So if we come back to the team and say, you know, this is what, this is what the goal was, this is what we said we’d do, um, this is how we said we’d know if it was working or not…

Lisa: Yeah.

Kahu: …where are we up to with that? How's that going?

Lisa: Yeah.

Kahu: You know, just being able to [TIMECODE 14.00] simply put that on the table.

Lisa: Yeah.

Kahu: Because the data never lies.

Lisa: Yeah, yeah.

Kahu: Yeah? So it doesn't become a blame thing…

Lisa: Yeah.

Kahu: … on people.

Lisa: Yeah.

Kahu: It’s just that this is what the data is telling us. So what do we have to do differently?

Lisa: Yeah.

Kahu: You know, if, if we don't have the data that we want, what's happening?

Lisa: Mm.

Kahu: Is this not the right intervention? Do we need to tweak it?

Lisa: Yeah.

Kahu: Is this not the right way of collecting data? Do we have to work out something different?

Lisa: And for me, when I look at your, um, outcome data and you come to me with issues with, with Kiriana and we're thinking, oh, we're back to square one…

Kahu: Mm.

Lisa: … we can always go back to that, and we can remind ourselves: that's a significant change. There's stability for the first time, and that stability has lasted for three months. And that's never been the case for the last nine years. It's a big thing.

Kahu: And that is a big thing, and I think sometimes when you're in it, it's hard to see it. So it's really good to get that feedback from you, because, you know, just that fresh pair of eyes saying this to us about, well, actually, you know, this hasn't happened for two or three years, you know, this level of stability.

Lisa: We don't replace the professionals that are already involved. What we do is we help them become the family's wraparound team. In order to do that well, we have to constantly review what we bring to that process.

Kiriana: Initially, um, most teams expect us to come in and fix it, whatever it is.

Lisa: That could be really disappointing if you think that's what Te Kahu Tōī is going to do.

Kiriana: Yeah. Te Kahu Tōī is about [TIMECODE 16.00] reframing what's been happening for the child and the family up until that point, reframing the team and the team's perspective of the child and family, and creating that family story for the team to work from…

Lisa: Mm hm.

Kiriana: … and then working out what those underlying needs are for the family and the child…

Lisa: Mm.

Kiriana: … and how we can support them as a team.

Kahu: And I think that can be easily explained through our process. So I would be expecting all sorts of expectations and some – not – well, most of them aren't in line with what we can actually do. So from my perspective as the psychologist, it's good to know what they are. So we'll ask them, what's your expectation? They'll say, and we can then say, ‘Well, thanks,’ because this is actually what we do do.

Lisa: Mm hm.

Kahu: And Kiriana and I am not Te Kahu Tōī team. We are part of your team and we will wrap around your team and your voice around what you say you need.

Lisa: Mm.

Kahu: So we're aligning. You know, it's a process of aligning…

Lisa: Yeah.

Kahu: … expectations and that can take time. Often it's not one conversation, you know….

Lisa: Mm.

Kahu: … but usually we try to do that whole myth-busting thing in the first… But it's a repetition, too, of ‘Remember, Kiriana and I, and not just the team. The team’s your existing team that you've already worked with.’

Lisa: How do you deal with the resource question.

Kiriana: Hang on, the resource question?

Lisa: Yeah, I imagine people come to you as the facilitator a lot.

Kiriana: I un-, I unpack it [TIMECODE 18.00] a lot. So I say, okay, so you've come to me and you’ve said, um, ‘Can we get a computer?’ or something. First of all, I’ll say, I'll add it to the team meeting agenda because it's actually a team process. We don't, um, make decisions without our team…

Lisa: Mm.

Kiriana: … um, because, you know, our families have had that since before we came along, and that's what….

Lisa: Yeah, ‘Nothing about us without us.’

Kiriana: Exactly. So, um, bring it to the team and then we unpack that and go, okay, so what's, what's the need here? Is it the computer or is it perhaps, um, that the child is needing some educational support of something?

Lisa: Mm.

Kiriana: It might not be a computer, but it might be something else.

Lisa: Yeah. Problem solving.

Kahu: Problem-solving, mm, and here's the rationale. And here's the underlying need; here’s the rationale; here’s the action.

Lisa: See, this is, this is why our conversations are really important. Because as you do that modelling and that work with the teams, I get a different layer of communication, and – but it's the same kind of message. You know, ‘Why don't you do our work? We'll leave.’ And I'm like, ‘Well, if you go, there's no team. It's just us and the family again.’

Kahu: Mm.

Lisa: That's not wraparound.

Kiriana: Mm, no.

Lisa: So I'm really glad that we've had that conversation today, because us being on the same page means that I can back you up by helping people that are inside your team member’s systems understand what an opportunity it is, what a natural form of professional development it is to be in a place where you can [TIMECODE 20.00] actually do something different. I mean, I remember being a practitioner, dreaming of being able to do things for families, but not being able to because that agency didn't do work like that.

Kiriana: Mm.

Lisa: Whilst wraparound is an evidence-based process, our job is to provide proof for each child and each whānau that they have the skills to realise their goals, to live their lives well.

ENDS 20.30

Recording ENDS 20.50


What Te Kahu Tōī looks like

Issac's story

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, aged 12.


Video transcript: Issac's story

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?
- Yeah.

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.
- Cool.
- 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….
- Yep.

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….

- Hooks.
- Hooks.

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?
- Yeah.
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?

- Yeah.
- 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.

- Awesome.
- And, and then you could teach it.
- Yeah.
- 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

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:

Video transcript: Voices of our tamariki

Ready, go!

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.
- Mm-hm.

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.

- Yep.
- 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...?
- Sixty.

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...
- Yes.
- ...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.

- Independent?
- Yeah.

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.

Well done!

I see my life as going on the right track.

Not getting into too much mischief.

- Yeah.
- 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.

Your turn.

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. 

How to get access to the Te Kahu Tōī

To get access to the Intensive Wraparound Service (IWS), seek a referral from one of these:

  • a member of the Ministry’s learning support staff
  • an RTLB
  • the student’s Ongoing Resourcing Scheme (ORS) fund-holding school (including day special schools).

The referrer discusses the referral with the school, parents, whānau or caregivers before going ahead.

Application process

The person making the referral completes the application form. They gather information about the young person, their history, background and needs. The young person, parents/caregivers and whānau and other people involved with them all have the opportunity to contribute to the application.

Information must include how local learning support services available to the child/young person and their whānau have been fully utilised and are unable to meet their needs.

The referral is submitted to the local Intensive Services Prioritisation Panel made up of:

  • a school principal
  • a learning support manager
  • an RTLB cluster manager
  • an IWS service manager.

The panels usually meet at least once per school term. Your referee can discuss the resources available to provide help in the meantime such as the Interim Resource Fund.

Terms of reference guide panel processes [PDF, 297 KB]

Young people who are referred and prioritised for IWS have significant behaviour, social or learning needs that are highly complex and challenging (may have associated intellectual difficulty) requiring support at school, at home and in the community.

How to apply

Learning Support staff and RTLB can access the current application form from their cluster managers (RTLB) or Service Managers (Learning Support).

Do not attach any other documents.

Once it is complete, submit your application to your local Intensive Services Panel. You can email the form along with the 3 attachments.

When emailing confidential documents please make sure you have consent to make this application and consent to share it with the Ministry Intensive Services Panel. Before you send it, check you are sending it to the correct email address.

Panels set and circulate due dates for applications to be received each term. To check due dates call your local Ministry office.

Local Ministry offices

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