Staff and supporters recently attended a special closing ceremony for the KINECT residential service for teen parents and their babies.
Attendees gathered outside the two KINECT residences before entering together. Aroha Reriti –Crofts of Tuahiwi, delivered a poroporoaki (farewell speech) and was then assisted with karakia (prayer) by Trevor Wilson, PSUSI’s Cultural Advisor and Family Works Service Manager from Nelson, and Rev Matthew Jack, the Minister of Knox church. After singing Whakaaria Mai everyone was invited to walk through the house. Attendees hung woven Harakeke flax and Kawakawa leaves on door handles as they passed through. These symbolized healing and cleansing, preparing the houses for new occupants.
The KINECT service positively helped many young lives—vulnerable young parents learnt to assert themselves as primary caregivers, and gained confidence in a safe environment free from negative influences. Because of its focus on parenting skills, KINECT not only benefitted the young parents, but also had far-reaching benefits for their babies.
On average, KINECT residents stayed for an average of 60-70 nights, receiving daily support from KINECT workers. While PSUSI was unable to secure sufficient funding to subsidise this intensive service, our other services for young parents will continue.