Social services and older people

Valuing Lives, Living Well

The social value of faith-based social services

Valuing_Lives_coverCo-operation, a shared vision and a focus on the wellbeing of the people and communities being served. A network of services that share a vision of Christian compassion and service. Sharing a motivation to be there for the most vulnerable and stay in for the long haul. These are some of the ways we describe the Christian social services working with older people in New Zealand.

In 2016 NZCCSS published the report ‘Valuing Lives, Living Well: The distinctive role of faith-based organisations in aged care in New Zealand‘.  That report tells the story of how faith-based social services help create social value in our communities. The unique combination of characteristics and organisation structure combine in a way that is distinct and of worth in itself, even if it is hard to quantify.

Community-connectedness is one way of describing this. A willingness to extend pastoral care beyond those who are the “service users” to incorporate family/whānau and community relationships that maintain connections for older people and use the natural networks of faith communities. Supporting older people who cannot find it elsewhere, especially those with few resources and complex needs is another defining characteristic, that is becoming more important as inequalities in our communities grow.

Spirituality in the context of an approach to care and support that underpins the everyday work, is also distinctive to faith-based services and chaplaincy services help provide support at a challenging stage in life for many people.

Valuing Lives, Living Well further information:

Conference plenary and workshop presentations by Brent Neilson and Paul Barber 

Download the full report here: