For referrers

Stand Children's Service Tū Māia Whānau (Stand) is a charity providing intensive therapeutic social services to New Zealands most vulnerable children and families.

For each child we seek to develop their capacity to live in healthy, hopeful relationships with others.  On this depends all of the other necessary outcomes which contribute to their ability to enjoy life and reach their potential.

The children we work with are typically at significant risk of harm to their wellbeing as a consequence of the environment in which they are being raised and their own high and complex needs.  They can be characterised as children whose early experiences have overly shamed or under-socialised them. 

They are often “pathologised” and “blamed” for behaviour resulting from the trauma impact of their early experience and become more and more isolated and traumatised as they grow up, the result of which is they form a view of themselves as unlovable and unworthy; a view of adults in their world as unavailable, neglectful, rejecting, and unresponsive, and a view of the world as unsafe.  Why are we surprised they struggle with the world and how to operate in it?

If you know children with these kind of intense struggles then perhaps we can help.  These children will need us to work together if they are to heal and recover.  Their journey from isolation to connection will happen if we all work together with them and their family.  

This provision of profoundly healing relationships is at the heart of the theoretical underpinning of Stand Children’s Services so expect when you refer to continue your involvement with the child working to your strengths as we work to ours.   

Referrals for Stand's Services 

Our Approach

The focus of our work is to protect children from further trauma, support their recovery and enhance their wellbeing.  Three principles underpin our approach:

  • Harm caused by relationships is best healed by relationships.
  • That a child’s home and family, school and teachers, neighbourhood and friends all play a critical role in a child’s world and each system requires attention to improve a child’s quality of life.
  • Transformative environments that provide therapeutic relationships and experiences of belonging, mastery, independence and generosity are quicker and more effective for a child’s journey of recovery. 

These principles are fully supported by recent brain science discoveries and the evidence base of multisystemic therapy and the therapeutic community movement.

Our Services

Using an evidence supported design approach, Stand has developed two primary services that offer an intensive tertiary level intervention:

Our nationwide ‘Stand for Children’ service is an intensive wraparound and trauma care approach which includes Therapeutic Care and Education in Children's Villages for children aged 5 to 12 and their families. 

Our ‘Family Therapy’ service is focused on family functioning and healing relational trauma which includes Trauma-Focused CBT for children 0-18 (including unborns) and their families (currently offered in Midlands, Central and Christchurch regions).

We also deliver:

·         Social Services in Schools service in Northern, East Coast and Christchurch regions

·         Kidzacool Adventures holiday programme for children aged 5 up to 14 living with caregivers nationwide

·         Strengthening Families service in Tauranga

Evidence supported programmes offered in the services include Family Development Programmes such as Te Puawai, Keeping the Magic Going, Stepping Out and Family Return on Investment (Family ROI). 

Evidence supported programmes for children and young people include our Therapeutic Care and Education (children's villages), KidzaCool Adventures, Theraplay, Sunshine Circles, Circle of Courage, Seasons for Growth, Storm Birds, Journey of Hope and a variety of other programmes that address the individual health, education and social needs of children.

We know that many of the children referred to us will not successfully recover without a planned and consistent therapeutic environment.  They need to experience profound healing relationships, and see that everyone is working together to get to the bottom of their difficulties in the context of everyday life, school and community.  Our Children’s Villages which is a nationwide service provides this transformative experience.

Our professional social workers, family practitioners and therapeutic workers have many years of experience providing individualised support to children and families who have complex needs and family structures.

We have a highly valued and successful partnership with our Kahui Kaumatua who are gifted to us by Iwi throughout Aotearoa to provide us with invaluable guidance and understanding of Te Ao Maori.

In all of our services, Stand serves the child and family as a supportive partner in the process of:

  • assessing needs and strengths
  • regaining hope and motivation
  • developing insight and aspirations
  • making plans, and
  • achieving dreams

Our Partners and Colleagues

Stand recognises that a child’s home and family, school and teachers, neighbourhood and friends all play a critical role in a child’s world.  We know that each system requires attention to improve the child’s quality of life and that we cannot do this on our own. 

Stand Children’s Services work in close partnership with the families, referral agents, child's schools, other professionals and agencies involved with the child and/or family. We also work within clear child protection guidelines and in close consultation with the Regional Child Protection Teams.

We provide an effective wraparound service by brokering and coordinating services with many agencies and providers across New Zealand, including:

  • Oranga Tamariki (MVCOT) and Children's Teams
  • Ministry of Education - Learning Support (prev Special Ed and Student Support)
  • Child and adolescent mental health service, adult mental health services
  • Social Service Providers across social, health and education sectors
  • Schools/SENCO teams/RTLB
  • Public Health Nurses/GP's
  • Child Paediatrics
  • Iwi 

Access Criteria

Access to the nationwide Stand for Children Service or the Family Therapy Services in three regions is by referral agencies and based on entry criteria and assessed need. Read more about these services on the What We Do page.

Access for Social Services in Schools is by assessed need and can be self-referrals from children/families or referred from within the school/community or other agencies.

Access to the KidzaCool Adventures is by application from caregivers and is available nationwide.

Acceptance into the service will be based on referral agents completing the relevant Referral Form which will demonstrate that the child and family meet the access criteria and have consented to receive services from Stand (read our Privacy Statement in the Information for Referral Agencies click here)

If you are unsure which service may be required to meet the need, please contact your nearest regional office and we can advise on an appropriate response.

Referral Forms

Stand for Children Service (inclusive of the Children's Village)  Kakahu Referral Form 

Family Therapy Service   Family Therapy Referral Form  

Social Services in Schools information and referral forms are on this page

KidzaCool Adventures holiday programme referral forms are on this page

Information for Referral Agencies including site contact details  click here