New businesses start all the time. And they set up blogs and Facebook pages and Twitter accounts and it’s exciting and new. Then things go quiet – because running a business is all about priorities. Do we go through the GST or write a blog? Do we write that report or do a blog?
Unfortunately, we’ve fallen into that trap and have been slow at telling people what we’re up to. Our apologies – it’s not good enough really. Our excuse is that we’ve been busy and we’ve been learning so much sometimes our priorities get a bit out of kilter.
We officially became Connect+Co on 1 April last year, and now it’s almost that time of year again. It’s gone incredibly quickly. Time for a look back.
We started thinking we’d work together on some projects and also do our own work. We quickly realised that it wasn’t that simple. The projects we have done need two heads. We’ve had to work out how to do things as well as we can, and that takes lots of working out, particularly when it’s just us.
So what have we done?
We’ve worked with a group of NGOs to help them understand how the Partners for Change Outcome Management System [PCOMS] can be embedded in practice. This tool helps clients and their helpers to track and monitor progress. It encourages reflective practice, guides staff development and training and gives the organisation as a whole data that can be used to build practice that results in better outcomes for clients.
The findings from this project were presented, in March, at the launch of Partnering for Outcomes Aotearoa, an organisation that is working to build PCOMS in New Zealand.
Elizabeth spent a week in Kiribati working with the New Zealand UNICEF team and the SKIP team from the Ministry of Social Development. This project is based on a series of interviews with mums, dads and grandparents, in villages, to build an understanding of parenting in the islands. We then used this information to design a project that aims to help parents better understand child development and the things they can do to support their children to be happy and confident adults.
We’ve also worked with the Ministry of Social Development to develop a strategy to move people off benefits into caregiving roles. This involved talking to older people living in aged care facilities and with staff to explore the attributes of great caregivers. We then ran a workshop with the aged care sector to develop an approach that met their needs, the needs of the people they care for, and potential caregivers. This work led to a successful caregiver expo at Coastlands Mall in Paraparaumu in February.
We’re currently working on a large project to support the Disability Strategy. This is a cross-sector project and we will be reporting on this in the next month or so.
We’ve also had the privilege of working with Plunket and ACC on a project to reduce the number of non-intentional injuries in children under five. We’ve worked hard to make this a collaborative process and have included the voices of parents, and the staff of both organisations, in developing an approach that we hope will be really impactful. Again its early days and we’ll be able to report more as it develops.
We’d like to say a big thank you to all the people who have supported us – our families, our friends and the people we’ve worked with. It hasn’t always been easy, and your trust and support has been amazing.