Support from Family Start
Family Start is about improving a child's health, learning and relationships.
Participation in the programme is voluntary, and it supports families and whānau who are struggling with challenges or problems that put the health, education and wellbeing of a child at risk.
Please visit Family Start website for more information
Criteria for Family Start
Family Start visits can start in the early stages of pregnancy (from three months) and referrals are taken up until a baby is 1 year old. Family Start may continue with the same family until a child is school aged, but only if needed.
In exceptional circumstances, a new referral can be taken for a child of up to 2 years.
Please view the Family Start Referral Guide on Oranga Tamariki website.
Providers that can refer to Family Start
If you would like to refer a family or whānau to Family Start, you can talk to a doctor, midwife, Well Child nurse, or any service involved with a family.
Please view the Family Start Service Providers List.
The evidence base for Family Start
A Quasi-Experimental Study was completed in February 2016 that reported on the impact of the Family Start home visiting programme on mothers and children. The most significant finding of the study is robust evidence that Family Start reduced post neonatal infant mortality.
The need for health services
Young children need access to universal health services to remain healthy, continue to grow and develop, and prevent more serious conditions that require hospitalisation. Young children in difficult circumstances often miss out on the health care they need. This is why Family Start is working with universal 0–5 (years of age) health service providers.
General health services
General health services include general practice, immunisations, Well Child Tamariki Ora, B4 School and oral health checks, and newborn hearing screening.
Free health services
- There is no charge for general practice visits for eligible children aged under 13, but general practices usually charge a fee for adults and older children.
- Immunisations provided from the immunisation schedule are free.
- Dental care is free until children turn 18 years old.
- Newborn hearing screening, Well Child Tamariki Ora and B4 School checks are also free.