We recognise tamariki, whānau and caregiving families all come from diverse backgrounds. This includes people from Pacific communities, refugees, LGBTQI, recent migrants, those with disabilities and many other areas of diversity. Our practice and our services are responsive to best meet the needs of all of those we engage with.
We all have unique characteristics and values that span ethnicity, language, religion, gender, sexuality, life experiences, disabilities, income, education and other areas. It’s important to really get to know each tamaiti and whānau that we work with through positive and respectful relationships, rather than assume things about them.
We continuously reflect on our own values, norms, expectations of others, biases and worldview. We consider the power imbalance in the dynamics of our relationships and we seek to create opportunities for power-sharing and shared decision-making with te tamaiti, whānau and caregivers as much as possible.
We seek advice, cultural supervision and support to build our effectiveness in responding to the cultural diversity of tamariki, whānau and caregivers.
Quality practice includes:
- taking time to learn about the culture, identities, values and every day norms of te tamaiti, whānau, caregiving families and communities that we work with
- communicating directly with te tamaiti, whānau and caregiving families about their culture, background, preferences and usual ways of going about things
- advocating for the rights of tamariki to practices and decisions that support their cultural identity, heritage, indigenous languages and spiritual identity
- using cultural tools such as Va'aifetū and Te Toka Tumoana to inform culturally competent practice with tamariki and whānau, caregiving families and all others who support te tamaiti.
Reflecting on practice
- What are my own cultural values and norms? How might they impact on how I see te tamaiti, whānau and caregiving families?
- Have I understood how te tamaiti views their cultural identity, values or norms?
- Have I taken into account the power position of my role? How do I seek to share power and decision-making?
- Have I understood how whānau and caregivers view their cultural identity, values and norms?
- Am I sensitive to these in my engagement with tamariki, whānau and caregivers?
- How do I know I’ve engaged the right people?
- What is cultural consultation, cultural supervision — how do I get these?