Fresh start for Child and Youth Workstream
The diverse needs of our pēpi (babies), tamariki (children) and rangatahi (youth – young adults) are being supported by a refreshed Child and Youth Health Workstream (CYWS) structure, which now includes three separate groups to focus on these different stages of life.
Towards the end of last year Ngaire Button and Michael McIlhone, the new CYWS co-chairs met with most of the group’s members to kōrero (talk) about their insights and thoughts about key priorities for improving our child and youth health.
“What was evident was the passion and commitment to the hauora (health and wellbeing) of our young people we all share. People also expressed that now is a good time to take a fresh look at the CYWS to enable us to collectively make the greatest impact,” says Ngaire.
“As well as looking to the future, we also want to acknowledge the vision, tenacity and mahi of Dr Nicola Austin who advocated for the establishment of the Child and Youth Workstream and has kept the kaupapa going over the last nine years.”
The new groups: First 1000 Days, Tamariki (2-12 years) and Rangatahi meet separately four times per year and are co-chaired by Ngaire and Michael. There are also three to four forums per year, for the wider network will come together.
“We are thrilled to have Child and Youth Portfolio Manager Anna Hunter (First 1000 Days), Team Leader Child And Youth Health Bridget Lester (Tamariki) and Service Development Manager Hayley Cooper (Rangatahi) from Planning and Funding facilitating the groups. Faye Tiffin, also from Planning and Funding is providing administrative support.”
“In response to member’s feedback forums and meetings will be well-organised to make the most of our member’s time, with items including interesting and relevant content, current research and project feedback.”
“Mana Taurite (Equity), Kaitiakitanga (guardianship), Whanaungatanga (family and relationships) and Manaakitanga (care and respect for others) will guide our mahi. We will also give greater focus to maternity, mental health and building connections with other alliance groups.”
Facilitator Anna Hunter, says our aim for these focused groups, is to ensure our mahi contributes towards a more equitable system that focuses on the needs of our diverse Canterbury population.
The experience and knowledge of group members is far reaching, including representatives from kaupapa Māori service providers, Pasifika health provider Tangata Atumotu Trust, education, police, secondary care services, community care services, Culturally and Linguistically Diverse (CALD) community, Rainbow community, as well as community-based consumers.
“We are encouraging group members to feel free to draw on all their perspectives, so they are not defined by one viewpoint,” says Anna.
“We are in a unique position, as we can allow time to focus on each age group and their specific needs. These groups also have mandate to make decisions and changes, with the forums giving an opportunity for the wider network to share information.”
“During the first forum of the year, I was struck by the passion, enthusiasm and dedication demonstrated by the attendees.”
“Our initial First 1000 Days Working Group in March was spent taking our time to learn about each other and sharing some kai. It’s important not to rush this process, as it creates a strong foundation for us.”
‘My hope is that we identify needs, make positive changes and create a clear sense of direction, so Canterbury tamariki are raised in the best possible place.”
More information about the workstream is on the Canterbury Clinical Network’s website - ccn.health.nz/Our-Work/Workstreams/Child-and-Youth-Health
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