Working alongside other organisations to equip vulnerable families with crucial parenting skills.

This multi-organisational project aims to improve the outlook for vulnerable children by supporting strong infant parent relationships.

The first 1000 days of a child’s life – from conception through to their second birthday – is a significant period of development. A child’s experiences during this time and the family environment in which they live will have life-long effects on their health and well-being. A child who has a strong, protective bond with their parent or caregiver can overcome difficulty and flourish, even in the face of adversity.

Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) are traumatic experiences that occur in a child’s life which are considered to be strong predictors of unemployment, welfare dependence, violence and ill health. The most effective protection for children at risk of ACEs is a strong mother child bond and parental health.

This project will focus on identifying vulnerable children and working with their whanau, supporting them to improve their health and the health and well-being of their children.

The project will take a phased approach, starting with a trial in Motueka and the findings from this trial will inform the next stages of the project.

•  Positive childhood experiences and a strong parental bond will increase the likelihood of a child becoming a healthy, mature, and productive adult

•  A strong healthy bond between a child and caregiver can help them overcome adversity

•  Healthy child relationships can have positive long-term social and economic effects. An example of this is improved child and adolescent mental health, leading to less mental health and addictions issues as adults.

•  Prevention and intervention strategies early in childhood have been identified as a good investment and result in positive outcomes for the individual and extend to their whanau, community and wider society. 

1. Support every child being a wanted child by, supporting and improving access to contraception services

2. Strengthen processes to reliably identify vulnerable children

3. Develop a model, (to be trialed in Motueka) to help the families of vulnerable children develop healthy parent-child relationships

4. Establish infant mental health services, to provide the right level of support for those in need

5. Supporting children to overcome difficulties and establishing strong relationships with their caregivers through the network of existing regional health providers.

Disclaimer: these initiatives will complement existing universal child health services in the region.


This project aims to contribute to the Models of Care outcomes by making a significant contribution to the following principles:


First 1000 days significant contribution TWO ROWS2Read more information about the Models of Care principles

The findings from the Motueka trial will inform how this project will be be introduced across the wider region.

To find out more email [email protected]