Out of 414 applications received by Ministry of Business Innovation & Employment (MBIE) Endeavour Fund – a very prestigious NZ research fund – only 71 were approved (17%), after exacting international and domestic peer review. One of these was our project, which will start in early 2020, running til end 2022 with $983,000 allocated funding from MBIE being administered by the University of Auckland.

This unique project will use Kaupapa Māori methodologies and participatory implementation methods to co-design a culturally-grounded framework for implementing Māori-specific protocol(s) into child protection system practices, together with developing training materials to strengthen the readiness and capacity of the child protection system workforce.

With minimal tailoring, the protocol(s), training materials and implementation framework will be applicable in allied social sector services (e.g., juvenile justice, education, health, mental health, Police). Thus, project benefits will flow to the many tamariki and rangatahi atawhai and whanāu whose needs bring them into contact with a range of social and health services beyond child protection services.

Led by University of Auckland Professors Susan Kemp and Christa Fouche(School of Social Work), VOYCE Whakarongo Mai staff Tracie Shipton, Hunia Mackay andNic Mason will work in close partnership with Iwi (to be determined in year 2), the Children’s Commissioner, the University of Otago’s Shayne Walker(Kāi Tahu, Kāti Māmoe, Waitaha, Ngāti Kahungunu, VOYCE Board member) and Paula King (Ngāpuhi, Ngāti Whātua, Te Rarawa, Waikato-Tainui, Ngāti Maniapoto), and Oranga Tamariki (Rhiannon Newcombe).  Rangatahi atawhai will be at the very heart of all phases of this project.

Six international experts will serve on the Expert Advisory Group:

  • Associate Professor Tessa Evans-Campbell and professor Karina Walters, Indigenous Wellness Research Institute, University of Washington(indigenous child welfare; indigenous CBPR);
  • Dr Danielle Kennan, UNESCO Child and Family Research Centre, NUI Galway(children’s participatory rights);
  • Professor Lawrence Palinkas, University of Southern California(implementation science);
  • Associate Professor Antonio Garcia, University of Pennsylvania(racial disproportionality in child protection);
  • Jacqui Reed, CEO Create Foundation, Australia.