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3. Priority families

Priority 1: Families whose children have challenging behaviour

What Service Providers say:

Helping agencies need to have a much closer working relationship with schools who are struggling with major student issues.


[Children need] support when their parents are in strife – free counselling outside school.


We need more community agencies that support families in a holistic way that are easy to access and free, increased specialist education and alternative schooling options.

Mental health worker

It is frustrating and frightening when working with families in need, to be unable to refer them with confidence to a primary care service who could meet their needs and empower them to take charge of their own lives.


Waiting times can be too long due to inadequate funding to cope with population explosion in the past 10 years.

Social service manager

The inability of government organisations to provide the services families need often urgently. All services are available but they are not funded to deliver the quality of service that is required.

NGO field officer

The biggest single issue: waiting times to access services.

Parent advocate

Access to family support services, including respite care, supervised affordable school holiday programmes for school age children.

Family therapist

[We need] access to respite care facilities for families in crisis – a school that caters for behaviourally challenged children.

Service provider

The social context

The pressure on families whose children exhibit challenging behaviour is one of the concerns most frequently-expressed by social service providers in Tauranga, particularly those working in the education sector.

The factors that contribute to the development of behaviour disorders include an inborn inability to respond appropriately to social expectations such as autism or intellectual disability, physical causes such as brain injury, mental illness, and a range of social factors such as parenting or trauma. Frequently, a number of these factors are present.

Diagnostically-challenging behaviour includes disorders such as attention deficit hyperactive disorder (ADHD), conduct disorder and

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