Home-based Social Work

We offer a free confidential home-based social work support service for families/whanau facing difficulties, needing support and/or wanting to make changes in their lives.   The Manager receives the referral, allocates to a social worker. The social worker will meet the family/whanau, to complete the initial assessment and the child and family assessment, make a plan and goal to support the family/whanau to achieve their goals.  Our social workers are professionals who work to best practice standards and will give individual attention and support and advocate for children and families.


Homebuilder’s is a non-government organisation, clients work with us in a voluntary relationship.

We can support with parenting, child behaviour management, family violence, family/whanau relationships, household management, building resilience, child development, routines and boundaries, care and protection, some health related circumstances, family/whanau wellbeing, education issues, or refer to another more appropriate community agency.  This list is not limited as each family/whanau will be assessed on their specific needs.

Respite care (from a community referral) may be available to children 0 – 17 years of age who are in need of care or protection and need to have some time out from their family/whanau. This time out will enable both the child and the parent/s to look at the situation, assess everyone’s needs and plan for the future.  Care or protection of the child is paramount to how we plan and work with the child and family/whanau.  When a child/ren are identified as needing respite care, we will ascertain if family/friends are available to care for the child/ren in the first instance.  Respite care involves the parent/guardian signing a Temporary Care Agreement to enable us to place the child with one of our approved caregivers who will look after the child in the caregiver’s home, for an agreed period of time.

Our Homebased service operates from Karamea in the north to Hokitika in the south, including Reefton.

Homebuilders Youth Mentoring Programme

Homebuilders Youth Mentoring Programme of Buller coordinates two mentoring programmes that connects children/young people with an adult in our community, as well as the option of school based mentoring that takes place during school hours and in the child’s school grounds.

Homebuilders Youth Mentoring Programme of Grey District is a new early intervention mentoring service provided under the Homebuilders West Coast Trust umbrella.  We are currently looking for mentors for children in the local community who can spare 4-5 hours per month with a child.  Please contact the Youth Mentoring Programme Grey District co-ordinator,

Youth Mentoring is based on the idea that a friendship with an adult can provide support for a child or young person to grow and develop in a positive way.

Homebuilders Youth Mentoring community matches an adult volunteer (vetted, trained and monitored) with a child or young person between the age of 6 and 16. A school match works by spending one hour once a week together – or a total of 4-5 hours a month, however it works best for the mentor and mentee.

A mentor spends informal planned time with a child or young person. This could be: walking dogs on the beach, reading, building sand castles, going fishing, baking, playing a game, tossing a Frisbee, the grand idea is simple: include the young person in everyday activities and experiences. We also offer optional outings and activities which extend to all the mentors and their mentees to have some enjoyable times as a larger group. Mentors meet bi-monthly for supper and group supervision/meeting for ongoing match support.


If you are interested in becoming a mentor, referring a child or young person, or you are interested to know more about the program, please contact:


HYMP Buller Co-ordinator – Sara Menzies 

03 788 8065 or 027 644 0523


 HYMP Grey District Co-ordinator – Sharon Buchanan

03 768 6665 or 027 248 5604



Mail to : PO Box 388

Westport, 7866

bbbs7 bbbs6bbbs4 bbbs3 bbbs2 bbbs1bbbs5

Social Workers in Schools
This service is available to students and their families/whanau from all schools in the Buller region; Runanga, Cobden, Blaketown, Paparoa Range, and Haast schools in Greymouth cluster.

Buller School Contacts

Inangahua Junction School
Ph: 03 789 0284
Email: inanga49@ihug.co.nz

Sacred Heart School
Ph: 03 732 8645
Email: secretary.sh@xtra.co.nz

Maruia School
Ph: 03 523 8860
Email: principal@maruia.school.nz

Karamea School
Ph: 03 782 6717
Email: kate.grey@karamea.school.nz

Westport North School
Ph: 03 789 7172
Email: office@westportnorth.school.nz

Westport South School
Ph: 03 789 7132
Email: office@westportsouth.school.nz

St Canice’s School
Ph: 03 789 7467
Email: principal@stcanices.school.nz

Granity School
Ph: 03 782 8109
Email: principal@granity.school.nz\

Greymouth School Contacts

Runanga School
Email: office@runanga.school.nz
Ph: 03 762 7873

Blaketown School
Email: office@blaketown.school.nz
Ph: 03 768 9096

Cobden School
Email: reception@cobden.school.nz
Ph: 03 768 7465

Paparoa Range School
Email: principal@paparoarange.school.nz
Ph: 03 762 5740

Haast School
Email: principal@haast.school.nz
Ph: 03 750 0853

This service aims to achieve good education, health and wellbeing outcomes for children.  This service is school based and also works with families/whanau in their home.

The social worker in schools works with children (and families) when a child’s behaviour impacts on the learning and development, effects of emotional feelings that get in the way of learning, improve social skills to enable the child to build and maintain relationships, enabling friendships to grow and develop, building positive self-esteem and building a child’s strength and resilience.

Social workers in schools also organise and facilitate programmes for students and adults.  These programmes are usually school based with referrals accepted by social worker from the principal, teacher, parent or child.

Social workers in schools can be contacted via the school or by contacting Homebuilders.

Kawatiri Family Harm Prevention

Community organisations and interested people have collaborated to work with “End the Silence on Family Violence”. The group co-ordinates projects to raise awareness through publicity and activities.

Kawatiri Family Harm Prevention is a collaborative network of individuals, community volunteers, non-government agencies and statutory agencies who work towards achieving family violence prevention in the Buller region by:

  • Building a strong network for all agencies concerned with family violence prevention to work together, learn from each other and share ideas and experiences
  • Providing information which focuses on changing attitudes and behaviours around family violence prevention
  • Providing information that may provide support and education for people who want to make changes in their lives
  • Providing information on ways to support family and friends who may be in violent situations
  • Being part of national campaigns such as the It’s Not Okay campaign, and White Ribbon campaign

The Kawatiri Family Harm Prevention administrator is based at Homebuilders in the Buller.

Strengthening Families Lead Agency
Strengthening Families is a national initiative to co-ordinate services to families/whanau that will benefit from a multi agency approach.  The client family/whanau consents to the strengthening families meeting and is included in the process and planning.

Homebuilders can organise and lead strengthening families meetings for clients.  A meeting will enable clients to have support agencies/people available, to participate in a plan that supports the family/whanau to achieve their goals.

The Lead Agency continues to call meetings and monitors the plan until the goals are achieved, or not as the case may be.  The meetings are then evaluated by all participants and closed.

Strengthening Families is offered coast wide.

Connecting Families Parenting Programme

Connecting Families is an eight session parenting course, with an emphasis on building strong attachments and relationships with our children.  We look at where we are now as parents, what has influenced the way we parent and then decide what we choose to continue, stop or modify in the way we parent to increase our parenting skills and ultimately enjoy our families more.

 The sessions offer opportunities to:

  • Reflect on where we are now as parents and what has influenced this
  • Gain insight into parenting styles, skills and coping and the possibility of making changes
  • Be accepting of ourselves – who we are and where we have come from
  • Strengthen our understanding of the parent role within the family
  • Understand the importance of play in the relationship
  • Use empathy to develop the relationship
  • Give positive, age appropriate attention
  • Establish family rules, limits and routines
  • Problem solve solutions for challenging behaviours
  • Create consistency and safety

The foundation of any change in child behaviour first starts within ourselves as parents. Participants will hopefully begin a new journey in positive parenting and experience more of the joys parenthood has to offer.. 

This programme is currently operating in Westport.

Please contact the Homebuilders office for more information or to make a referral to the programme.




Supervised Contact
Homebuilders provide supervised contact when it has been ordered through the court.

Homebuilders can also be the venue for children transitioning between parents for contact.  The terms of the drop off and pick up is agreed between both parents, in a written agreed plan.

A detailed supervised contact policy exists to guide staff and clients through the process.

Supervised contact is offered in Westport.