1000 Days Engagement Model: Promoting Positive Relational Health for Vulnerable Maori Families in New Zealand
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Session presented on Saturday, July 23, 2016 and Sunday, July 24, 2016: Purpose: Whanau Ora is a cultural praxis promoting Maori (Indigenous people of New Zealand) health and wellbeing for whanau (Maori families). Foundational to recent service delivery reforms, whanau-centered approaches still remain poorly translated into current practice and meaningful ways of engaging with whanau often lack empirical grounds. The 1000 Days Trust is a community-led residential program developed with the collective vision of promoting positive relational health and wellbeing for vulnerable whanau in Southland, New Zealand. Here we present a model of engagement which articulates core principles of how relational connections develop and translate into meaningful experiences of engagement for whanau, clinical staff and community partners within 1000 Days. The purpose of this poster presentation is to present the 1000 Days engagement model; a purposefully designed model founded on Maori cultural praxis to inform the development of meaningful connections with vulnerable whanau (Maori families), clinical staff and community partners within a residential program aimed at promoting positive relational health and well-being. Methods: A descriptive case study is undertaken as part of the 1000 Days collaborative research program. A participatory approach is foundational to the conduct of this research. Semi-structured interviews with whanau (25), clinical staff at the residence (7) and community partners (12) are conducted to describe the relational practice of engagement within 1000 Days. Participant observation is conducted during visits at community organisations, local health and social Government agencies and meetings with community representatives to describe the context within which meaningful connections occur. Data is subjected to qualitative thematic analysis and will be discussed with community partners. Results: Core interrelated components and processes support engagement practice within 1000 Days: placing whanau needs and aspirations at the centre of services; promoting whanau self-determination and autonomy; developing a culturally competent workforce to support whanau in achieving their goals and connecting with appropriate services in the community; creating early connections with whanau and community partners to build trust and reciprocal relationships; ensuring a presence in the community to raise collective awareness and promote shared responsibility towards whanau health and wellbeing; building interactions with whanau founded on a positive vision of health which focuses on whanau strengths and resources and relies on cultural knowledge and values; strengthening existing relationships between community organisations and 1000 Days to build sustainable networks of supportive and accessible services for whanau. Conclusion: This study highlights key components and processes of a relational practice of engagement underpinned by local knowledge, cultural realities and context dynamics as a foundation to promote positive relational health for whanau.