Kaupapa Māori Approaches to Trauma Informed Care
Nelson, Kathleen Tereina
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Health and social service providers within Aotearoa New Zealand have struggled to meet the needs and aspirations of tāngata whenua. Colonisation and its impact on tāngata whenua have been at the root of intergenerational, cultural, and historical trauma. Embedding Kaupapa Māori theory and practice in healthcare and social service delivery is the change needed within mainstream organisations. Therefore, this research examines: How do Kaupapa Māori values and beliefs within social work practice align with being trauma informed to deliver better health outcomes for Māori? Triangulation of Kaupapa Māori methodology, Trauma Informed Care (theory and practice) and qualitative interviews with Māori health social workers were utilised to conduct this research, with Kaupapa Māori research overarching the entire project. Trauma Informed Care (TIC) and Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACE’s) are two models being used with whānau Māori in the health and social services sector in Aotearoa New Zealand. Each model is explored through its origins and current application. However Indigenous literature on trauma calls for the restoration of traditional ways of healing through cultural protective factors. First-hand experiences from Māori social workers who have worked or are working in mainstream health (DHB’s) identify the gaps in delivery and how their values and beliefs make a difference to their social work practice. Historical Māori health and social work literature and the failings of Government social services on the current media reflects the minimal health and wellbeing improvements made for Māori. Optimal health and well-being are a universal right, but if the system is not working for Māori, then the system needs a different approach and tāngata whenua worldviews are key to its success.