0800 693 323



Caregiver Training

The training offered by Caring Families Aotearoa is for caregivers parenting tamariki and rangatahi who have relationship difficulties, especially children who have experienced insecure attachments, trauma, loss and or separation, or family violence.

Our training model is based on the latest research, and pays special attention to the parenting attitude of PACE (Playfulness, Acceptance, Curiosity and Empathy).  It provides an understanding without judging the internal experience of the child. It also explores how to maintain connection while providing structure, supervision and discipline in order to support behaviour. 

No matter where you are on your care journey, whether you have just started or been doing it for years, we have a training designed for your needs.

Or if you are already familiar with our training courses and want to jump straight to our training calendar to register, click below.

Training FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions)

Who is eligible to attend training, and is it free?

Our training is available for anyone who is caring for a child that is not biologically their own. Our workshops are FREE if you receive your allowance from Oranga Tamariki (Ministry for Children) or Work and Income, or if you don’t receive any funding. This includes whānau / kin caregivers, grandparents raising grandchildren, and permanent caregivers. If you receive your allowance from another agency, please contact us so we can talk to your agency.

I raised my own children, why do I need training as a caregiver?

We are forever learning, and we certainly didn’t get a manual when we had our own children. Some of us learnt through trial and error, and we basically parented how our caregivers parented us.  However, we now know through the science available how the brain develops and what we can do to build healthy brains.

All children who come into care have developmental trauma to some degree.  They have missed some of the nurturing they needed in their early years, and so the architecture of their brain has been impacted.  To heal our tamariki we need to change our traditional parenting to become more therapeutic. Our training will give you the therapeutic skills you need to build the relationship and help your child heal.

Do you provide online training?

Yes, all of our entry-level and intermediate courses are also available online.  We know caregivers lead very busy lives and need the convenience of tuning in and learning from home!

Ako Ngatahi (Learning Together) is our regular online discussion series to learn from the comfort of your home. Your host will interview our guest expert and then will give you the opportunity to ask questions.

Our online delivery varies from term to term, so please check our training calendar and select the ‘virtual’ filter to see what online training we are hosting this term.

I'm new to training, where should I start?

Whilst all of our courses are stand-alone, and can be completed in any order and at any time during your care journey, we would recommend starting with one of our entry-level courses if you are new to our training. Our entry-level courses are Ako Ngātahi (Learning Together), Keeping Memories: Life Stories, and HeArt of Healing Care: The Beginning of Therapeutic Parenting.

These courses will provide a solid foundation which you can then build on with our intermediate and advanced courses.

Who facilitates the training workshops?

Our entry and intermediate level workshops are facilitated by our wonderful Regional Coordinators in most regions of Aotearoa.

Our advanced courses for caregivers and professionals are facilitated by our Training Programme Manager, Sally Moffatt, and Caring Families Aotearoa Therapist, Rob Surtees.

Our facilitators bring a wide range of professional and personal knowledge to our workshops which help to break down complex topics, enrich your understanding, and answer any tricky questions you may have. They always endeavor to create a welcoming, judgement-free environment where you feel safe to be yourself and share your thoughts.

I'm having trouble registering for a course online

Please call our National Office on 0800 693 323 and one of our team members will be able to assist you.

I've signed up for an online training but cannot access the meeting.

Check your email spam folder, the email with the access link to the training might be in there. If you are still not able to access the meeting, please contact us.

Please note, some browsers including Internet Explorer, Firefox, and Safari do not support meetings hosted by Microsoft Teams, so you will have to choose a different browser, such as Google Chrome. We recommend using a computer or laptop to access the sessions on Teams.

Your training workshops do not work with my schedule, what can I do?

We try our best to meet our caregivers’ needs and that is why we offer a variety of online and face-to-face workshops. Some of these are delivered in the evenings or sometimes at the weekend. We do have limited resources and we have listened to caregiver voices and that is why we are currently developing self-directed training which can be completed in your own time.

Our self-directed training aims to deliver you the same top-notch caregiver learning, but in a flexible online platform that you can work through when you find a spare moment in your day! We hope to launch our first course in 2024, watch this space!

Can I book a special training session for my caregiver group?

Yes. If you come under our ‘free’ training group (see above), such as a GRG group, we can provide a face-to-face training in your region.  We would ideally like to have a minimum of six participants. Please contact our Training Programme Manager HERE to enquire.

Do you provide training for other groups besides caregivers?

We can provide bespoke training to any group, including schools, social workers, NGOs, Iwi social services and other professionals working in the social service sector. All our training is based on Dyadic Developmental Practice (DDP) using an attitude of PACE. Please contact our Training Programme Manager HERE to enquire.

Our Courses

We provide online and face-to-face training across the country, ranging from beginner to advanced level.

Our courses have been specifically designed by our training experts to suit the needs of caregivers, and will give you the understanding, tools, and practical advice you need to help the tamariki in your care heal.

Based on the framework of Dyadic Developmental Practice, which has been developed by Dr Dan Hughes over the past 20 years, the core focus of our training workshops is on creating healing through relationships.

Ready to take the first step on your therapeutic parenting journey? Click the button below to dive in.

Amazing workshop, well prepared, very engaging facilitator.

Learning Resources

We’re working on putting together a library of supplementary training resources to help you on your therapeutic parenting journey.

These can be used to help refresh your learning, shared with other caregivers in your network, or printed out to post around your whare (house) as an everyday reminder.