A new set of resources aims to support and encourage child-focussed, community-led activity that will lead to positive change at a local level.
“A community-led approach emphasises that each community is unique, has its own strengths and assets and will have its own ideas and ways to make their place even better for children and families,” says Megan Courtney from Inspiring Communities, who created the resources in collaboration with the Child Wellbeing Unit in the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet.
The resources support the Child Rich Communities (CRC) project, which began in 2015 and is led by Inspiring Communities. The project aims to connect and grow a movement of people thinking and working in community-led ways, to improve child family and whanau wellbeing in Aotearoa.
“There’s no single model or definition for what a Child Rich Community is. It’s more a way of working that enables people, groups, organisations and places to make positive changes for themselves, their children, their family and the wider community,” says Megan.
The ‘Helping children and young people in our village to thrive —What we can do’ resource outlines tips to help people get started, including looking for ways to involve children and young people in the planning and design process.
“Getting creative and encouraging people to dream is a key part of this first step,” says Megan.
The resource also suggests how you can move from ideas to action, and using what you’ve got to get what you want.
“Making time early on to better understand the assets in your community can help uncover resources and others you might want to work with,” says Megan.
The Practices that enable community-led action to enhance child and youth wellbeing outcomes resource focuses more on the how. The guide highlights the principles that underpin the Child and Youth Wellbeing Strategy, and then outlines some of the core practices that enable and strengthen wellbeing outcomes for children, whānau and communities at the local level.
“In community-led development it’s not so much what you do, but how you do it and with who that is the most important,” says Megan.
As well as showcasing examples of community-led initiatives, the resources also include links to other tools and guides, including how to engage with children, how to get conversations started, steps to building a community vision, and where you can access more advice and support.
Find out more
To learn more about community-led initiatives to improve child, whānau and community wellbeing, check out the Child Rich Communities webinar series, or be inspired by the stories on the Child Rich communities website and the Child and Youth Wellbeing website.
We’d love to hear examples of local community initiatives making a positive difference to children and families, and how these guides help to support your efforts. Please share your stories to help inspire others to take action. Email [email protected] and / or [email protected].