Outcomes of Reconnect Kaitiaki Residential Programme
With locations in Otara and Northcote, the Reconnect Kaitiaki Residential Programme provides a safe haven for young people threatening community safety. Young people referred to the programme through a CY&F youth placement coordinator often originate from backgrounds of common assault, theft, and family violence, accompanied by a substantial history with the police. The Northcote home offers a family home environment incorporating educational and social training, bridging the gap between the young person’s crime and a permanent place and purpose in Auckland. Reconnect Kaitiaki Residential’s Otara home presents a different set of skills suited to the young person and their needs, staffed by senior and rotating youth workers.
Running since 2010, the group home in Otara has opened its doors to 660 clients. Monitoring five young people at any given time, the team of trained youth workers review client placements 24/7, whilst engaging in a number of positive social activities geared towards reintegration. Trips to the park and beach for physical activity and social engagement are a positive alternative for some offenders, who may face lock-up in other parts of the country. Supervised activities with staff prevent the young person from participation in destructive behaviours.
The second group home in Northcote has housed 170 clients since taking over from another provider in 2015. Focusing on providing housing, education and social skills for clients requiring short-term court custody, the home offers MSD-funded literacy and numeracy training and pro-social activities for up to five young men. Resident house parents and youth workers offer substantial support to its young boarders, promoting physical and social wellbeing and teaching social norms and behaviours to those otherwise unacquainted. In a similar manner to the Otara residence, Reconnect Kaitiaki Residential’s Northcote base presents a stable family environment resembling a home to provide security and achievable goals for its young clients.
Reporting a 70% decrease in absconding since the last financial year, Reconnect Kaitiaki Residential has successfully placed over 800 young people within its walls and practices processes to ensure these outcomes are maintained. The programme’s focus on education and social integration is backed by swift action in the event of absconding. Any incident reports are filed promptly with police and CY&F, while staff attempt to persuade the client to return without using physical restraint.
Strong links with the community and social teaching help maintain a low level of absconding and reoffending within the programme.
- 800+ young people since 2010
- 24/7 programme
- Five absconders in the past nine months
Tasha Aiaraisa, Child, Youth and Family
In my role as the Acting Placement Coordinator, I have had regular contact with the staff who manage Kaitiaki Residential programme and the house at Northcote for the past five months.
I have been impressed with the very good care that the young people receive and the insightful information that staff are able to provide as they get to know the young people. Many young people enter these houses feeling scared after having been remanded in custody by the Youth Court and staff settle them down and make them feel welcome.
I know some young people have enjoyed their stay so much that often ask to return to the house if they are placed back into custody. I believe some of this is influenced by how well fed they are.