Tu Maia Whanau

Stand Children’s Services Team

Our workforce is our most valued resource.  We are very proud of what our team achieves with children who, at the outset of their involvement, appear to have few of the 'protective factors' that can compensate for the almost overwhelming difficulties that they face. 

Almost all of our people look back on their involvement with Stand Children’s Services as one of the most satisfying and challenging experiences of their life.

When recruiting staff we look for specific personal qualities and values first and foremost, as well as experience and training.  We also consider the ability and willingness of individuals to work enthusiastically within our strength based approach and make the professional commitment required to the social work framework.  Our staff bring a wide range of qualifications, training and professional backgrounds.

The qualities and skills we look for and focus on developing in our staff mirror our values.  We expect them to be:

  • passionate about real outcomes and focused on the needs of the children
  • respectful, compassionate and empowering in their work with parents and wider family
  • understanding of the impact of life trauma on the children we work with and what works to heal a hurt mind
  • able to focus children and families on solutions not problems
  • culturally competent in all that they do. 

Staff benefit from intensive training and regular structured professional and managerial supervision, and work within a proven and consistent framework. 

We expect all of our teachers to maintain full registration and all social work staff are required to maintain their competency and work towards registration, if they are not already registered. 

We have developed some key partnerships in order to ensure our staff are competent and confident in their work with our most vulnerable children.  These partnerships allow us to offer the following well researched, evidence based learning programmes to our staff:

  • Nonviolent Crisis Intervention
  • Residential Child and Youth Care Professional Certificate
  • Managing Aggressive Behaviour
  • Response Ability Pathways
  • Family ROI
  • Seasons for Growth
  • Stormbirds
  • Healthy Heroes
  • Journey of Hope

Nonviolent Crisis Intervention

In partnership with Crisis Prevention Institute (CPI) USA.

CPI’s Nonviolent Crisis Intervention® program is known worldwide for its innovative, holistic philosophy of providing care, welfare, safety and security for staff and those in their care - even during crisis moments.  This program is now recognised by many as the international standard for violence prevention and intervention training.

The Nonviolent Crisis InterventionSM   training course, not only teaches staff how to respond effectively to the warning signs that someone is beginning to lose control, it also addresses how staff can deal with their own stress, anxieties and emotions when confronted with these difficult and often times challenging situations. The course focuses on preventing disruptive, out of control behaviour by communicating with individuals respectfully and with concern for their well-being. The philosophy of   ensuring the very best care, welfare, safety and security for staff and those in their care is the cornerstone of this training course. 

CPI also has a number of Refresher and Specialised Nonviolent Crisis InterventionSM  training courses which Stand Children's Services also train staff in including;

  • CPI Key Point Refresher
  • Enhancing Verbal Skills: Applications of Life Space Crisis Intervention 
  • Trauma Informed Care: Implications for CPI’s Crisis Development Model
  • Integrating Positive Behavioural Interventions and Supports

Residential Child and Youth Care Professional Certificate

In partnership with the University of Oklahoma OUTREACH National Resource Centre for Youth Services (USA).

The focus of this training programme is to help improve the quality of residential care for children and youth by strengthening the skills of staff who are responsible for the daily nurturing, care, discipline and teaching of those children in their care.

Specific objectives of the programme include:

  • Providing staff teams with a common knowledge base regarding residential care philosophy, values, programmes and processes, and their role in service delivery
  • Strengthening staff skill in the areas of Developing a Culture of Care, Building Relationships, Understanding Child Development, and Teaching Discipline.
  • Presenting up to date trends regarding residential care issues, programmes and staff roles
  • Using the opportunity for group learning to enhance team building and improve partnerships
  • Creating continuing education opportunities for staff to enhance their job competency, and promoting a positive work attitude as a critical component of staff retention
  • Helping service leaders standardise staff training and accomplish the above objectives

Managing Aggressive Behaviour

In partnership with the University of Oklahoma OUTREACH National Resource Centre for Youth Services (USA).

The focus of this training programme is to help improve the quality of service provided for children and youth by strengthening the skills of staff to prevent and intervene in situations where children and youth are displaying aggressive behaviour.

Specific objectives of the programme include:

  • Provide staff with a common knowledge base regarding crisis intervention and the prevention of aggressive behaviour
  • Strengthen the skills of staff in the essential areas of non-physical and physical intervention techniques, teaching more appropriate and effective behaviours and planning for the needs of individual clients.
  • Using the opportunity for group learning to enhance team building and strengthen staff and confidence.


Response Ability Pathways

 In partnership with Dr Larry Brendtro of Reclaiming Youth USA

 Response Ability Pathways or simply RAP is an intensive three day certificated professional development programme aimed at providing essential strength-based strategies for all those who care about and work with children and young people in family, school or community settings. All children and young people need supportive adults who respond to their needs rather than react to their problems.

 RAP trains for these ‘response abilities’ to enable adults to encourage and lead young people on pathways to responsibility through applying the Circle of Courage principles of belonging, mastery, independence and generosity in meeting the growth needs of all children and young people.  RAP is grounded in research evidence on resilience, brain science and positive youth development, translating the research into practical methods for building strengths in all children and young people.

 RAP focus is on three basic capacities – Connect, Clarify, Restore – which are the normal ‘abilities’ of the resilient human brain.  We are all hardwired to connect to others for support, to clarify challenging problems and to restore harmony and respect. 

Family ROI

In partnership with Family ROI USA.

Just as a business measures success in terms of its Return on Investment (ROI), a family can measure success by the return its members receive from investing in each other and their shared future.  Just as successful companies do, families can achieve greater longer-term success by defining their own unique vision, setting goals and executing a plan to achieve them.  The Family ROI Experience enables families to learn and practice this important process efficiently and effectively.

To help families discover their own power to reach their dreams and strengthen their communities by applying proven business principles to revitalise, focus and strengthen families

The Family ROI facilitator training teaches staff to deliver the family ROI programme in a way that truly strengthens families, and develops their expertise in compassionate communication, family relations, organisational development, and group facilitation groups.

Seasons for Growth

In partnership with Good Grief, Australia.

Seasons for Growth is based on the belief that change, loss and grief are a normal and valuable part of life. The impact of changes such as death, separation, divorce, and natural disaster upon our lives is explored along with how we can learn to live with, and grow from, these experiences.   The core intention of this programme is the development of resilience and emotional literacy to promote social and emotional wellbeing. The programme is educational in nature and does not provide therapy.

The imagery of the four seasons is used to illustrate that grief is cyclical, not a linear journey with a clear end. Trained “Companions” facilitate small groups where participants share their experiences, and support and learn from one another. Peer support is a key element of the programme, and confidentiality is strongly emphasised.


In partnership with Good Grief, Australia.

The Stormbirds program is based on the belief that change, loss and grief are a normal and valuable part of life. Children and adolescents need the opportunity to examine how natural disasters, such as bushfires, floods, cyclones and drought, have impacted on their lives.

Stormbirds provides an opportunity for each participant to integrate the appropriate knowledge, skills and attitudes to understand and to cope with the changes brought about by a natural disaster. This takes place within an atmosphere of like-to-like peer support.

Throughout the country we have teams of dynamic individuals who bring a diverse mix of experience and knowledge to our organisation.  Our staff are committed to the organisation’s vision of a world strong with children through their day to day interactions with children and families in the service.

As a nationwide team we share a strong vision and values and we have been lucky to have some great teachers and mentors.  People such as Nan Henderson, who introduced us to the theory and practice of Resiliency and Larry Brendtro who showed us the Circle of Courage and effective ways to work with troubled children. 

Resiliency theory teaches us that the ability to “bounce back”, to rise above adversity, is innate. It teaches  us that children are hard wired to seek connection and that children connect with adults who show them respect but rebel with those who seek to control or buy them through power or permissiveness.  We learn that relationships with children and young people based on connection and respect have enormous “growing” and “healing” power.  All of these lessons help build our belief that even children experiencing immense pain and conflict can and do change for the better.

We also offer a range of specialised training programmes that enable staff to work with the identified needs of children and families in structured and creative ways to bring about the transformative experiences they need to heal and recover.

Healthy Heroes

In partnership with Rotary.

Healthy Heroes is a simple, easy to follow, home health programme for 8 to 12 year olds.  There are five challenges for them to respond to each day, that promote good health, and help protect them against obesity and type 2 diabetes. 

Journey of Hope Programme

In partnership with Save the Children NZ.

Journey of Hope programme focuses on an individual’s strengths by building on their existing resilience and enhancing positive coping skills. This psychosocial support is neither counselling nor focused on trauma. 

Journey of Hope is a series of programmes for children and adults that are designed to:

  • support children and caregivers in understanding and normalising emotions associated with difficult circumstances and adversity
  • support children and caregivers in developing positive coping strategies to deal with their emotions
  • build on the inner strengths of children, families, schools and communities to further develop positive coping strategies
  • develop a person’s sense of hope and future by empowering them to feel more in control