“The goal in our early intervention programme and one-on-one mentoring is to make the bad days the exception and the positive days the norm,” says Te Roopu O Wai Ora Co-ordinator Phil Squires.

Te Roopu O Wai Ora (Wai Ora) provides community-based support for intermediate school boys with behavioural issues.  Forty-five students have received social work support in school and after-school mentoring, which combines activities like rock climbing.

The ‘Reduction in Youth Offending Project’ has been operating in the North Shore suburb of Northcote since 2003.  Youth offending has reduced significantly in the area during this time.

“We believe we’ll continue to see low offending rates,” says Phil Squires.  “That means better adjusted kids, happier and safer communities, and less kids vying for negative attention and doing dangerous things for thrill-seeking.”

Young people who went through the early intervention programme at intermediate school have become a positive influence in their high schools, when they might have become recidivist offenders.

Wai Ora youth workers make home visits and help parents out by getting their sons to and from community work placements.  They provide support and advice for families, and attend family group conferences, court appearances and school Board of Trustee meetings.

In 2006, The Tindall Foundation made a 3-year commitment to fund the Co-ordinator’s salary and administration costs.

For further information contact:

Phil Squires, Co-ordinator, Te Roopu O Wai Ora

Email: kiatoa@ihug.co.nz