Birthright offers a range of social services for the children and parents of families led by one person, and some regions also provide services to two-parent and blended families.

If you are a mum, dad, grandparent or another whānau member parenting alone, we can support you.

The support we provide is confidential, non-judgemental, friendly and in most cases free of charge.

Contact your local Birthright to learn more about their services and how you can access them, or call your local Birthright on 0800 457 146.

Range of services

The range of services offered varies at each Birthright but will include all or some of the following:

  • Social work support and counselling for children, families and whānau
  • Parent education programmes
  • Budgeting advice
  • Referrals to recognised agencies for specialist services
  • Parent networking opportunities
  • Self-esteem programmes for children
  • Some financial assistance with school requirements and holiday camps
  • Practical assistance with clothing supplies and household items
  • Access to resources and information

Where services are not offered directly, we often refer to other services.

How we can support you

A wide variety of needs may emerge when you are a single-parent family. Asking for support or advice is something you and the whole family can benefit from.

At Birthright, we work with you to assess and identify your most pressing needs.

Finding suitable housing, sourcing basic necessities, accessing the right entitlements, managing finances and personal wellbeing are just some of the challenges that families can face.

We have trained and experienced staff and social workers who offer practical support, resources and encouragement. You might just need a helping hand, a point in the right direction or support to access the services you need. We can work with you one-on-one to find solutions to problems, or bring different community service providers together to come up with a comprehensive plan for what your family needs.

We recognise the strength and diversity of families and support you to succeed on your own terms.

Advocacy support

Understanding your rights and entitlements as a family led by one person may, at times, be overwhelming. There might be times where you need some support to have your voice heard or have someone speak on your behalf.

Birthright can stand beside you and support you to understand and exercise your rights and express your views on issues that are important to you.

We can support you during meetings with schools, organisations and agencies such as Work and Income and Housing New Zealand. We can represent your interests with you or on behalf of you, to ensure you obtain the services you need and the support and you are entitled to.

Birthright also advocates at a national level for systemic change on behalf of families led by one person.

Helping you connect with your community

Birthright understands the importance of community and the diversity of whānau in our communities.

We provide our services within the community and work closely with other community service providers to ensure, if you need support, you can access appropriate services locally.

We understand the ups and downs for single-parent families so offer ways for you to connect with other families in your community. These provide a good opportunity to meet other people who are going through similar experiences to you.

Connect with your local Birthright on Facebook to find out what events and activities are happening in your area.

Other useful services

Contact your local Birthright to learn about other useful services in your community.

National helplines for free information, help and advice

Barnardos - 0800 Whats Up (0800 942 8787). Free counselling helpline and web-chat service for children and teenagers. Staffed by trained counsellors — available from early afternoon to 11pm, 365 days a year.

Healthline - 0800 611 116. Free 24-hour health advice for all the family. The service is staffed by registered nurses who will assess your health needs, and give information and advice to help you decide on the best level of care.

Lifeline - 0800 543 354 or text 'Help' to 4357. Free service, available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.

Parent Help - 0800 568 856. Free parenting helpline 9am to 9pm to help parents with all parenting challenges.

PlunketLine - 0800 933 922. Free call telephone advice service available to all families, whānau and caregivers 24 hours a day, seven days a week. When you call PlunketLine your call will be answered by a Plunket nurse, who can give you advice and information on parenting issues and your child’s health and wellbeing.

Samaritans - 0800 726 666 Free, confidential, non-religious and non-judgemental support to anyone who may be feeling depressed, lonely, or even be contemplating suicide. We are available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.

Youthline 0800 376 633 or text 234. Free, confidential and non-judgemental telephone counselling service, available 24/7, 365 days a year for all young people.

Parenting websites