The Kaitohutohu team are trained community health workers who provide a wide range of support needs to families in the community. Currently the team provide a variety of services. Current services provided are listed below.

Kaitohutohu home visiting service

A number of people in Otara are challenged with a variety of issues and problems. Sometimes these can become too overwhelming and people don’t know where to go and what to do. It is easy sometimes just to give up. The Kaitohutohu team are there to provide guidance, support and a helping hand, to enable people to get things sorted and get back on track.

The team come from the community, have an excellent understanding of the community, and speak the languages of the community. They are non-judgmental, respectful and strength-based in their approach.

Generally people are referred to the Kaitohutohu service from other agencies. Referrals come from Doctors, Nurses, Specialists, Plunket, Schools, Truancy service, Youth offending team, Otara Police, Family Start, Family Violence Inter Agency Response Service Team, Teen Parent units, Child, Youth and Family Services, and other community organisations and government agencies.

The Kaitohutohu worker will work not just with the person referred, but the whole family. They will work with them for as long as the person feels they need it. Sometimes it may be just one or two visits or follow up calls, and sometimes it can be over many months.

The Kaitohutohu service is free.


Safe Sleep Education and Pepi-Pods

The Kaitohutohu team are all trained to provide education and support on smokefree and safe sleep. We are part of the Pepi-pod programme developed by Change for our Children and aimed at supporting families in protecting their children from avoidable deaths in infancy (SUDI). With a grant from the SkyCity Community Trust we purchased a number of pepi-pods which we provide free of charge to families in the community whose babies are considered high risk of SUDI.

A Pepi- pod is a general purpose storage box that converts to a baby sized bed with the addition of an attractive cover, fitting mattress and bedding. It offers babies a protected space when they sleep in, or on, an adult bed, on a couch, in a makeshift setting, or away from home.

For more information on the Pepi-pod programme see their website.

To find out more about how to refer a family for a pepi-pod or receive the pepi-pod education please contact the Kaitohutohu team on 274 4340.


Better Breathing

The Kaitohutohu team work together with Better Breathing Team at Middlemore hospital. The Better Breathing Team (BB Team) is part of a project to save 20,000 bed days in the hospital over the next few years. The BB Team work with people with Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD). The people are referred to the BB Team from their GPs. The BB Team then assess their ability and see if they are suitable for an exercise rehabilitative programme. The BB Team worked with Kaitohutohu to bring the programme into the Otara community. The programme operates out of the Te Puke O Tara community hall. They share a space with our Active Families Team for storing their exercise equipment.

The Kaitohutohu team support this project by working with all the people referred to ensure they understand what the programme is about and that they attend. They do this by making initial phone contact and providing interpreting services if needed. They provide transport to the hall if needed.

The programme began in July 2012 and is seen as being a successful model. By working with the Kaitohutohu team and bringing the programme into the community we have seen an increase in overall participation and attendance rate of people referred, thereby greatly increasing the health and quality of life of people with COPD.