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Media Release: Grassroots Voices Report released

(27/02/2009)

The New Zealand Council of Christian Social Services (NZCCSS) “Grassroots Voices” research report was released today.

“This report is based on the experiences of real families, the issues they face and what services made a practical difference to their wellbeing” said Trevor McGlinchey, NZCCSS Executive Officer. 

“We want to work closely with government agencies so that they can benefit from this research and from the in-depth experience of our members in supporting families through difficult times”.

This research is mostly based on the experiences of Christian social service agency clients. It literally quotes the 'Grassroots Voices’ of these clients to paint a picture of the issues facing families and to explain what works and what doesn’t work in the delivery of family social services.  

“The Grassroots Voices research report provides a significant resource for social service agencies, social workers and social policy developers”, said Shaun Robinson, Convenor of the NZCCSS Child and Family Policy Group. 

“This report is a very practical tool for identifying realistic and effective responses to the problems that many families face in these difficult times”, he said. “We hope that as the new government shapes its policies for families it gains value from the voices in this report.”

The Grassroots Voices research was based on interviews with 130 social service clients, 82 social workers and 33 social service agency CEOs. It covered nine separate geographic regions including cities, towns and rural areas.  

“This research shows that when community and government organisations work together to provide an appropriate range or ‘mosaic’ of family support services the best results for helping families were achieved” said Shaun Robinson.  

“The NZCCSS member agencies are committed to working collaboratively with other community, and government, agencies to produce solid results that improve the wellbeing of New Zealand families.  The Grassroots Voices research report provides excellent practical information on how this can be achieved” 

“Grassroots Voices research includes a focus on understanding issues for Māori”, said Trevor McGlinchey, 

“This is important as a high proportion of people who receive support from Christian social service agencies are Maori.  Our members want to ensure they are working effectively alongside Maori clients and tangata whenua support agencies”. 

The New Zealand Council of Christian Social Services has sent copies of this report to the Ministers and Chief Executives of the Ministries of Social Development, Housing, Health, Justice, Police and Te Puni Kōkiri. 

NZCCSS has requested meetings to discuss the practical responses to the important issues for these agencies that were identified in this report. 

Contact for further information: 

Shaun Robinson, NZCCSS Child and Family Policy Group Convenor  (027) 444 6382
Trevor McGlinchey, NZCCSS Executive Officer – (027) 286 9393


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