Safer Ashburton District

Safer Ashburton District

Safer Ashburton provides services and supports to over 750 vulnerable families, children and individuals each year.



WHAT WE DO Safer Ashburton provides a one-on-one support service for young people and their families to target issues that are creating obstacles in young people’s lives. This service has been operating in the Ashburton District for ten years. Youth Support Workers, together with young people, develop an action plan and a timeline for achievement.


WHAT WE DO The Community Youth programme has been providing young offenders and those at risk of offending with positive alternatives since 2010. Young people entering the youth justice system (generally for lower level offending) are referred to us, so that we can support them to engage in positive activity and ultimately halt their offending.


WHAT WE DO Supervision with Activity is a new contract area for our organisation. This contract, which was awarded last October, aims to address higher level youth offending. Supervision with Activity is an intervention that sits just prior to a residential sentence, or is a mandated intervention for a youth offender leaving a residential environment and returning to the community. It is an intensive service, where staff may spend up to 20 hours per week with an offender, again engaging them in positive activity with a view to halting their offending.


WHAT WE DO Supported Bail is another new contract area for our organisation and was also awarded in October 2017. This contract is aimed at providing intensive support for young people, who have been charged with an offence and have been bailed back to an address in our district, awaiting sentencing. Our role is to ensure they meet bail conditions and don’t reoffend while on bail.

CACTUS (Combined Adolescent Challenge Training Unit & Support)

WHAT WE DO CACTUS supports young people to discover their inner strengths and their abilities to reach their potential. Activities promote self-esteem, confidence and physical fitness. Each course is followed by an overnight camp to introduce participants to new camping and bush skills, and also to celebrate their achievements throughout the course. A five-day advanced course is also run each summer for those who have excelled in the basic courses.

S.E.E.D.S (Sharing Everyday Experiences and Drawing on Skills)

WHAT WE DO Safer Ashburton has been operating the S.E.E.D.S service for eight years. S.E.E.D.S is a free family wellbeing programme targeting families with pre-schoolers. Families needing support are matched with a trained volunteer, who comes in to the family’s home environment, teaching practical parenting and household skills. Volunteers are trained in techniques to reduce stress and to improve the confidence of young families. Practical skills shared include parenting routines, time management, handling stress, child health and well-being, nutrition, menu planning, cooking and baking, budgeting, sewing and garment repairs, housekeeping, and hygiene.


WHAT WE DO Over the past year Safer Ashburton has begun employing resource workers to support various projects and carry out short term contracts. We often get asked to carry out a piece of work over the short term, such as supporting a child back into education or providing support around other community interventions. Rather than constantly trying to find staff at short notice, we now work to create more permanent positions, so we can respond to these requests.


WHAT WE DO This initiative aims to put higher level interventions in place for young people and their families to ensure they get the level of support they need. Children are referred to a lead professional who heads the intervention, wrapping a team around the young person. The team is made up of professionals from a host of services. These are high level interventions requiring significant work from the lead professional. They are hoped to reduce referrals to Oranga Tamariki, The Ministry for Children.


WHAT WE DO Safer Ashburton has provided a supervised access service since 2013, for children who are not in their parents’ care. This is part of a contract with Oranga Tamariki. Staff oversee and monitor visits, ensuring appropriate behaviour and child safety. Our most skilled staff work in this area, due to the difficulty and complexity involved in many situations.


WHAT WE DO Safer Ashburton has delivered Attendance Services in the Ashburton District since 2002. This service aims to improve the school attendance of children and young people by working with families, schools, and other groups. Truancy can be due to a range of factors, and our attendance officers assist young people and families to get the support they need.


WHAT WE DO The Families Without Violence Network was formed 10 years ago in response to increasing levels of family violence. The Families Without Violence coordinator promotes the prevention and awareness of family violence within the Ashburton District community. We develop resources to help victims and offenders access information and assistance. We also run activities and events to promote awareness of family violence and create avenues for support. The Coordinator also brings agencies together, to work collectively in reducing family violence in our district.


WHAT WE DO Safer Ashburton has taken the lead on working towards Safe Communities accreditation. Safe Communities is an all of community approach to developing a plan for the district, that aims to reduce injury and enhance safety, across a range of areas within our community. Thirty nine districts in New Zealand have obtained Safe Communities accreditation under the Safe Communities Federation of New Zealand. All have reported an increase in interventions and activities, an increase in external funding and improved safety within their communities.


WHAT WE DO Safer Ashburton District has delivered Restorative Justice Services in the Ashburton District Court since this initiative was first established 19 years ago. When a person appears in court charged with an offence, the judge may refer them to the Restorative Justice service post sentence, if they have plead guilty to the offence they are charged with. The process involves a pre-conference with the offender and victim, before a conference between both parties, where the harm is addressed and various plans and actions are agreed upon. A detailed report then goes back to the judge to be considered when the offender is sentenced. Restorative Justice plans address reparation, penalty, treatment, and education.


WHAT WE DO Safer Ashburton runs the Children’s Programme over the Christmas school holidays. This programme focuses on working with at-risk children aged 5 to 10 years. The programme is module-based and covers specific topics such as bullying, personal safety, fear, depression, friendship, and life skills. The programme delivery is age-specific, so children are arranged into their peer groups when attending.

ROCK ON (Reduce Our Community Kids Offending Now)

WHAT WE DO Safer Ashburton introduced the ROCK ON initiative in 2015. ROCK ON is an inter-agency, community-funded initiative which identifies and targets local young people with significant school attendance issues. The aim is to reduce youth offending rates in our local community.


WHAT WE DO Safer Ashburton works in close partnership with a number of smaller trusts operating in our district. The support we provide generally involves the employment and day-to-day oversight of coordinators of various projects in our community. We see this as a great way to reduce overheads and workloads for small volunteer trusts. Managing employees can be time-consuming for small organisations and can involve the creation of processes and policies; health and safety protocols; day to day monitoring; and reviews.

More about us

Safer Ashburton has progressively grown since its inception in 1994 and now employs a wide range of staff across many programme areas. We also have volunteers supporting these programmes, alongside extensive community support and engagement with other agencies and providers across the district. Safer Ashburton is the largest locally-driven provider of community services in the Ashburton District.

We deliver programmes and services in response to community need, supporting vulnerable families, children, youth justice, adult offenders, and new migrants.

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