Te Pūtahitanga o Te Waipounamu was delighted to recently host Hon Te Ururoa Flavell, the Minister for Whānau Ora, to launch the video promoting the 1000 Days Trust.

1000 Days Trust is an Invercargill based initiative supported by Te Pūtahitanga to invest in the role of mothers, fathers and whānau to help babies thrive. Based in Murihiku, the vision of 1000 Days Trust is for every parent in Southland to cherish the parent-child relationship that buffers a child from adversity and builds resilience.

The 1000 Days Trust has established a specialised service available to at-risk Southland babies and families during the first 1000 days of a child’s life. The 1000 Days model consists of a residential service, and a comprehensive follow on programme for whānau.

The intended outcome of the 1000 Days model is to empower mothers and/or fathers to establish healthy and positive relationships with their children, with the tools to nurture them to reach their full potential.

The initiative has the potential to change the trajectory for 1000s of Southland babies and their families. The Trust aims to support whānau and coordinate their care through an integrated multi-disciplinary approach in the residential setting.

The 1000 Days Trust proposes that early intervention is key, and the model must include prevention, and not solely repair once harm has been identified. By the time the child’s emotional and behavioural problems are obvious to most others, there has already been unnecessary cost to that child’s potential for co-operative, trusting relationships. The child is primed to be reactive instead of responsive.

Here’s an example.

Last week, mum and baby arrive, baby is rigid and unsettled, and mum states baby is always like this.

On Wednesday, baby is playful, mum is relaxed and the conversations are flowing between mum and baby, mum and navigator.

By Friday, baby only has eyes for mum, baby is content, mum is engaged with baby smiling, talking non-stop, looking forward to “taking her ‘new’ baby home”. The supervisor said “you can see the love between the mum and baby when they gaze at each other; the first moment I witnessed that, it was truly magical; this house and whatever our staff do with whānau, it is just magic”.

To find out more visit their website at: www.1000days.org.nz

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