Our staff provide a non-judgemental and empathetic ear during times of need. We support people as they deal with family violence, parenting, grief and loss, stress and anxiety and other issues.

We provide free strengths-based social work support and one-to-one counselling. Our qualified professionals walk alongside our clients to help them to find the best answers for themselves and their whānau, and keep their whanau safe. Our support increases whānau confidence and assists with their overall wellbeing which in turn has a positive impact on the wider community.

Most of our services are free for people living in the Tararua District. Our social work and counselling services are for families with children aged 0 to 17 years, and our group programmes are for children and adults. Our one-to-one youth mentoring programme is for children between 10 and 12 years of age.


Counselling is nothing to fear or feel ashamed about. People from all walks of life attend counselling.

Sometimes you just need a non-judgmental, understanding, caring and supportive professional who will give you their undivided attention and help you make sense of what is happening to you or a loved one.

What happens in counselling?

Counsellors help you to tell your story and develop some responses that will work for you. They encourage you to find answers on your own.

How do I know if I should see a counsellor?

  • Changes in yourself. You may become more irritable, feel you are not coping, become constantly angry, sullen, withdrawn, sad, weepy or go into spells of silence for long times. There may be other changes so that you will not feel yourself anymore.
  • When circumstances or behaviour towards you becomes unacceptable or intolerable.
  • When you feel unable to manage your relationships or function effectively.
  • When you feel you are not coping with a change or trauma in your life.

What about confidentiality?

Counselling is a confidential process. What is said in the room stays in the room unless you agree otherwise. The Counsellor may consult with supervisors to improve their skills to provide the highest quality of service to you, but this is done without revealing your identity. Except in a situation where you are a danger to yourself or others or where counsellors or agencies have a legal obligation to inform appropriate authorities, your information is strictly confidential.

Social Work Support & Assistance

Social Workers can help you and your children work through complex problems and emotions, develop coping strategies, and adapt to the world around you. Our Social Workers can help – in strict confidence – with issues including bullying, peer pressure and relationships, family relationships, pregnancy, domestic violence, drug and alcohol issues and mental health issues such as depression, social isolation, grief and self-harm.

This is a free service and may include:

  • assisting you to find the services you need, including advocating on your behalf making sure you have access to the right support and resources, including accommodation, employment assistance and benefits
  • Support referrals to community-based services such as counsellors
  • connecting, or reconnecting, you with community and family support networks providing advice about your rights and opportunities
  • supporting you to navigate through financial and legal processes

Social Workers in Schools (SWiS)

Social Workers in Schools (SWiS) is a free service that places Social Workers in schools across to New Zealand to support the learning and development of children and families. Tararua Family Services runs this service in the Tararua District.

Our SWiS Social Workers have three main roles:

  1. to work one-on-one with children and their families/whanau
  2. to provide group programmes which help children and families succeed
  3. to help whanau access other support services such as health and housing services.

By providing early help and support, our Social Workers can:

  • help children in need and those who are vulnerable
  • develop plans to improve their wellbeing and safety
  • support improvement in educational outcomes

SWiS is a voluntary service — teachers, principals and community members are welcome to refer any family or child. SWiS workers are there to help any person involved in the school community when needed.