Helping families get support

SONIA BEAL
Last updated 17:00 29/11/2012
Jenni Gane
Emma Allen
New face: Strengthening families co-ordinator Jenni Gane at the Bread of Life Centre on Stephenson St Blenheim

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Making it easier for families to get the help they need is one of the main priorities for new Strengthening Families co-ordinator Jenni Gane.

She also aims to helping improve collaboration between help agencies in Marlborough.

Mrs Gane, who is based at the Bread of Life centre in Blenheim, has taken over the role of co-ordinator from Linda Soper.

While community and welfare agencies worked well together, there was always room for improvement, Mrs Gane said, and she aimed to make it easier for families to get help from Strengthening Families.

Meeting with representatives from the organisations would develop trust, she said.

"Getting out and about and meeting people so they can put a face to a name and calling on the contacts I already have will be key to achieving this. I want to make it easier for families to access the help they need."

She wanted to see everyone on the same page, Mrs Gane said.

"Agencies work well together, but there's always room for improvement."

Strengthening Families received referrals from agencies, school teachers and family members.

Meetings were set up to help families work through their issues and, depending on the problem, it could involve several trained professionals such as a social worker, budget advisor or counsellor.

It was important for people to understand that the families enlisted for help set their own path with the support of everyone at the meeting, Mrs Gane said.

To qualify for assistance from Strengthening Families in a range of areas such as housing, budgeting, health, learning and behaviour, families must have children aged under 17 and must be dealing with at least two welfare agencies.

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- The Marlborough Express

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