Delays in obtaining help with social and personal issues may result in people being on waiting lists for assistance with mental health, housing, counselling, special needs education services or assessments for home care. Services may have shortfalls in capacity because of shortages of trained staff, increased demand due to population growth or an increase in the prevalence of issues such as anxiety or in deciding to seeking help. The Western Bay of Plenty (WBOP) experienced a rapid increase in population by over 28,000 in the five years between 2013-2018. SociaLink, an organisation funded to support the social and community sector in the WBOP, surveyed social service organisations after hearing anecdotal stories about the pressure on services and difficulties in referring clients to other providers. Findings included organisations reporting waiting lists from several weeks to several months for services related to child developmental needs (eg speech therapy; foetal alcohol spectrum disorder);counselling and other personal therapies and mental health and addiction services. Organisations managed through providing more services than they were funded for; triaging and tightening referral criteria or not having waiting lists because of lack of capacity to ‘carry’ the risk involved. In general, funding was not meeting the demand or the complex needs clients had. Gaps included a lack of trauma based counselling, relationship or family based counselling and therapies, care assessments for older people and assisted shopping services. Improvement suggestions included improved funding to increase capacity of staff and hours of service; encouraging workforce career development in the sector and improved communication and coordination within and between social, education and health sectors.


Creator | Kaihanga
Year of Creation | Tau
Publisher | Kaiwhakaputa
Keywords | Kupu
Access, Social Services, Waiting Lists, Bay of Plenty, Counselling, Mental Health, Child Development, Therapy, Older People.
Main Language | Reo Matua
Submitter's Rights | Nga Tika o te Kaituku
I represent the publisher or owner organisation of this resource
This Research has
been written outside an academic institution
Bibliographic Citation | Whakapuakanga

SociaLink (2019) Waiting for Help: Waiting Lists in the social sector in the Western Bay of Plenty, SociaLink, Tauranga, Aotearoa New Zealand.

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