A government agency's annual report probably isn't at the top of your reading list, but this year we bring you something a little different. As well as the usual recap of achievements and our financial position, we're taking a look back at what we've learned since 2004 (when the Families Commission was set up) and what we've produced in that time. As we're due to be disestablished*, we thought it was a good place to share this information with you.
"We know...that many policies have been introduced without the support of a strong evidence base," writes Families Commissioner and Superu Board Chair Len Cook. "There can be no assurance given to consumers [of social services] of the quality of these or any other services until the social services sector can deliver comprehensively on a strong commitment to continuous improvement. This focus is not apparent at present."
Here's some of what we've learned through our research and evaluations:
- What families and whanau do for members and communities is huge and needs to be made more visible
- Families and whanau are diverse, mobile and becoming more varied in form
- Whanau bring cultural capital that differs from nuclear families
- Policies and programmes sourced and informed by te ao Maori are more likely to succeed
- Connected services are associated with better outcomes
- Pacific families facing problem debt need a multi-faceted approach
- Addressing family violence requires action at the societal level
- Resilience is critical - it is a process and can be built and supported
- Transitions are important as they can be periods of difficulty and provide an opportunity to intervene
- Institutional cultures matter more to people than is recognised.