Helping young people make good choices

Puti* was 16 and struggling. Her home environment was dysfunctional and tense, with a family breakdown, domestic violence, and siblings in the care of Oranga Tamariki.

She had experienced an altercation with her stepfather and needed to live independently. 

Initially, Puti was referred to Youth Support by her school councillor. She needed help with applying for the Independent Youth Benefit, to obtain her personal belongings from the family home, and to organise transport on the school bus. Youth Support was able to work alongside Puti to help her get on her feet and start to make good choices for her future. 

Our Youth Support Worker helped Puti with her benefit application, referred her to Youth Aid for support with her belongings, ensured she had funding for the school bus, and also made sure she could attend her school camp. Soon she was able to transfer to a new school and sourced the uniform and books that she needed. As well as assisting with these practical supports, Youth Support helped with her emotional wellbeing. 

We were able to support Puti to begin reconciling her relationship with her mother, and to empower her to make choices for her own safety and benefit. While Puti declined a referral to counselling, she was confided regularly in her Youth Support contact and built a strong support network around her. 

Puti is now in her final year of high school and still accesses Youth Support when she feels that she needs additional support. She is achieving well academically, involved in netball and rugby, attending church and taking part in a range of extracurricular activities. She is looking ahead to her future, including tertiary study. She is now a confident and resilient young wahine with a positive outlook for the future.


*Names and photos have been changed to protect the identity of the individuals.