Who we are
A registered NGO and charity, the forerunner to our organisation was founded in 1971 with the vision of helping at-risk 11-16 year-old youth achieve better futures. Working with a range of young people with high and complex needs, youth referred to any of Reconnect’s programmes usually have histories of family dysfunction, sexual and violent offending, drug and alcohol addiction, theft, and antisocial behaviour, and are often placed under our care subject to Family Group Conference (FGC) Plans or court order decisions. We believe all young people directed to our care are capable of change and deserve a better future.
Our programmes offer three things in common: frequent and transparent communication between the young person, their family, social workers, clinical case managers and our mentors; a focus on the support and consultation of whanau at each step; and a commitment to face-to-face, personal interaction with the young person. These three points are the pillars of our reduced reoffending rates and our care and protection service.
Agencies we work with
Communication with referral agencies such as Child, Youth and Family and the Ministry of Social Development is begun at the point of our referral, and documented on a regular basis as supplemented by calls, meetings, and other instances where information is required. We also ensure all obligations in the form of FGC plans, court orders and court appearances are fulfilled, paving the way for a positive future for the young person.
Whanau are consulted and supported at each step across our five programmes. Family support can range from providing a court-directed alternative home for the young person (Kaitiaki Residential), through to reports on the young person’s opportunities and behaviours (Supported Bail and Vocational Mentoring), through to family healing and some grounding in Māori culture (Care & Therapy and Korowai Mentoring). These initiatives involve the family regularly in communication and updates, whether face-to-face, over the phone or on a long-distance video call.
We are proud of our focus on one-to-one communication, and it is an aspect that is carried out across each of our programmes. Each young person is provided with one-on-one mentoring or clinical support, whether that be for two hours (Vocational Mentoring), up to 36 hours (Supported Bail), the beginning and end of each day under the supervision of a house parent or youth worker (Kaitiaki Residential), or with our registered psychiatrist, psychologist, clinical case managers, youth workers and youth care givers (Care & Therapy). Mentoring and clinical support for many of these young people provides a high level of positive social guidance they may have not had access to in their home or community. Opportunities also exist within the Korowai Mentoring programme and Care & Therapy’s Family Resource Specialist to help reconnect with Māori culture, which can help ground and drive the young person’s path to success.