At Te Awhinatanga o Mana Rōpū (Mana), we believe that all young people should enter into adulthood as loved, supported, empowered and self-sufficient individuals, regardless of their ethnicity or life experience.

By caring for tamariki in loving, respectful environments in accordance with the principles of tikanga, we can raise strong, resilient tamariki who don’t just survive in the world but thrive. Using a strengths-based approach, we can make this happen.

So, what exactly is a strengths-based approach?

A common method in both social and youth work, a strengths-based approach focuses on an individual’s strength, capacity, and resources, identifying what strengths and qualities helped them achieve past successes in their life. It focuses on what is right with the individual, as opposed to what is ‘wrong’, facilitating hope and change rather than fixating on problems and regurgitating what has already happened.

Concentrating on the inherent strengths of individuals, families, and organisations, we communally aid recovery and empowerment. Further, this strength-based approach highlights the factors that create and support human health rather than those that cause disease.[1] In short, it views the ‘problem’ as something that can be overcome and creates an opportunity for growth.

For the tamariki we work with at Mana, a strengths-based approach is imperative for creating lasting change and hope. Here, we enhance their gifts and potential. Everybody makes mistakes, but it is how we perceive and respond to them that changes the course of our lives.

By using a strengths-based approach, we can work with our tamariki to create better outcomes, not only for themselves but for those around them. We can improve the quality of their relationships, including the one with themselves, allowing them to develop resilience. In partnering with our team here at Mana, tamariki flourish into the people they were meant to be.