Birthright has been working with families led by one person for over 65 years and we will continue to raise awareness with the government on the issues facing families led by one person. New Zealand has one of the highest rates of single parent led families in the OECD. We also have one of the highest rates of child poverty, and abuse against children in the OECD. We are committed to work which will seek to improve the lives of young people and their families, so that New Zealand can once again be a great place to grow up.
We are committed to quality advocacy which reflects the needs and voices of children and whānau in New Zealand. There are many systemic barriers which still exist for single parent families, such as income inequality, pay equity, child support, employment, housing/homelessness, physical and mental wellbeing and education.
These barriers create challenges for families we support. We work collectively with like-minded, child-centred organisations to ensure that caregivers feel supported and for New Zealand to feature more positively in the statistics relating to which single parent families often face.
We advocate in two important ways;
- Nationally: we advocate for systemic change to ensure better living for all tamariki and rangatahi growing up in families led by one person. This work includes leading national initiatives such as media releases, leading research and making political submissions to advocate for the needs of children and issues that families face in New Zealand, and to better meet the needs of single-parent led families. We also collaborate with like-minded organisations to raise awareness of the issues which are important for the families we support.
- Locally: we provide practical and tangible support to families by ensuring that they understand and have access to support which they may be eligible for, advising on their rights and entitlements, providing social work support, food packs, clothing, psychological support services and collaborating with other community providers to ensure that the individual needs of our clients are met.
At Birthright, we advocate not just for specific types of systemic, legislative and policy change, but also to raise awareness of parents within our communities who are doing an extraordinary job. We want their mahi to be celebrated. We have a long legacy of supporting families.
Current advocacy topics which Birthright is actively working on include;
- Family Court
- Child support
- Domestic Violence
- Families with High and Complex Needs children
- Health and Wellbeing
- Child Poverty
Local advocacy support
Most of our affiliate organisations provide advocacy support to families. This may include:
- providing information and guidance on the rights and entitlements of families led by one person
- supporting families during meetings with schools, organisations and agencies such as Te Hiranga Tangata (Work and Income, MSD) and Kainga Ora (Housing New Zealand).
Contact your local Birthright to find out about their local community based advocacy support for children and families.