0800 693 323
Support Groups

Caring Families Aotearoa has Support Groups throughout New Zealand that provide peer support to caregivers. There may be several support groups in your area and these could be thematic such as Home for Life, Whānau/Kin, neighbourhood, FASD group etc.

Join A Support Group

Existing Support

Regional Support

Join A Support Group

Caring Families Aotearoa have local support groups that provide peer support in your region. Support groups are made up of other Caring Families Aotearoa members who meet regularly for a cup of tea and support. There may be several support groups in your area and they could be Home for Life, Whānau/Kin, Neighbourhood, FASD groups etc.

When you become a member of Caring Families Aotearoa you can choose which local support group you would like to join. Please send us an email (enquiries@caringfamilies.org.nz) and let us know which group you would like to be connected to. Otherwise, you can call our free phone, 0800 693 323. You will be notified by email about events in your area, including training, morning/afternoon teas and family activities.

You are also more then welcome to set up your own support group, for more information follow the link below.

Please find below a list of local Support Groups that are registered support groups of Caring Families Aotearoa:

Upper North

  • Whangarei Support Group


Auckland South

  • South Auckland Foster Care Association
  • Franklin Foster Carers Association
  • Waikato/Hauraki Foster Care Association (Inc Hauraki)
    Katrina Bevan
    M: 0275348384 E: kapai.kiwi@gmail.com
  • Caring South Waikato Hearts
  • Hauraki Support Group
  • Cambridge Support Group

Central North

  • Taupo Foster Care Association
  • Bay of Plenty Foster Care Association
  • Rotorua Support Group
    Heather Jeffcote
    M: 027 256 4550
    E: jeffcoteheather@gmail.com

North West

East Coast

  • Tairawhiti Foster Care Association
    Sarndy Matthews
    M: 027 4262 600
    E: brookkjacobs@gmail.com
  • Hawkes Bay Foster Care Association
  • Wairoa Support Group

Lower North

  • Tararua Foster Carers
  • Manawatu Foster Care Association Inc
  • Kapiti Foster Care Support Group
    Ginny Higgins
    M: 021 153 5450
    E: gmhigg@xtra.co.nz
  • Wairarapa Foster Care Association
  • Porirua Unique Foster Carers
  • Horowhenua Support Group
  • Wellington Family & Fostercare Association
  • Kapiti Evening Support Group

Upper South

  • Marlborough Foster Care Association (Blenheim/Picton)
  • Nelson & Tasman Association
  • FASD Nelson Support Group


  • Otautahi Foster Care Association
  • South Canterbury Foster/Whanau Support Group
    Katrina Merrick
  • Christchurch West Support Group
  • Ashburton Support Group

Lower South

  • Central Otago Support Group Association
  • Dunedin Foster Care Support Group
  • Southland Foster Care Association Inc
    Rose Rhind
    M: 027 4970 132
    E: jeffnroserhind@gmail.com or
    Marina Seager
    M: 021 1463 020
    E: chipshop14@gmail.com
  • Woodlands Support Group
  • Gore Support Group

Existing Support Groups

Support Groups provide caregivers with networking and peer support opportunities in their local area. If you are an established Support Group/Association here is some information you might find useful.

How caregivers join a support group

A caregiver can join a support group at anytime by calling Caring Families Aotearoa on 0800 693 323 or emailing enquiries@caringfamilies.org.nz. A caregiver can be part of more than one group. When a caregiver joins Caring Families Aotearoa, we will give them a list of open support groups in their area. The new caregiver can go along to a meeting and decide whether they would like to join. Support Groups will also be promoted on our website.

How support groups communicate

Support Group/Association liaison will be able to see contact details for caregivers in their Support Group on the secure Support Groups Link (formerly the Association Link). Support Groups can choose the best communication method for their group. Some ways to communicate are:

1. Support groups can submit a mailout to their group and/or other caregivers in their region through the Caring Families Aotearoa mail system.

2. Smaller support groups/closed support groups may choose to communicate through text messages or personal email to organise their meetings.

3. Meetings and get togethers can be advertised on the Caring Families Aotearoa website calendar and in our monthly newsletter, Snippets.


Claiming your meeting/get together contribution is easy, simply click on the link above and you will be directed to the Support Groups Link (formerly the Association Link), complete the online form and then submit it. The contribution will be deposited into the nominated bank account within two working weeks.

Caring Families Aotearoa will pay a contribution of $3 per Caring Families Aotearoa member, who attended the meeting, towards the refreshments for your meeting. Support groups can claim a contribution for up to eight meetings per year. Any further claims will be dependent on funding availability. You can claim for up to two ‘mentors’ per meeting. A ‘mentor’ is a member of Caring Families Aotearoa who is not a caregiver: they may be a professional, retired or having a break.

Funding for special events

If your support group is organising a special event and needs additional funding they can apply to the Regional Committee. Each Regional Committee has an annual budget to use for events being held throughout their region. This amount is reviewed annually and set within budget limitations. Support groups must apply to the Regional Committee for event funding.

Support groups must apply to the Regional Committee for event funding:

1. Complete the event proposal funding application, available online.

2. Email to Regional Coordinator who will present your proposal at the next Regional Committee meeting, make sure that the application is submitted in a timely manner as Committee meetings are monthly.

3. Caring Families Aotearoa can pay approved expenses by sending a tax invoice to finance@caringfamilies.org.nz. These can be paid either prior to the event or after the event.

4. Complete a short survey about how your event went.

Regional Committee

In each region there is a Regional Committee/Panel made up of up-to six caregivers from the region, National Office team as required, and the Regional Coordinator. The Regional Committee will approve event proposals from the Support Groups and offer assistance where necessary. They may plan/organise events for all members in their region and promote events on Facebook.

We expect this role will take about two hours a month and include a Skype, or similar, meeting with other committee members. More time will be required if events are being organised in the region. If you would like to apply to be on your Regional Committee/Panel please complete this form and email it to enquiries@caringfamilies.org.nz.

In recognition and appreciation of the extra time and support of the caregivers in their region, Caring Families Aotearoa will contribute towards the Committee Members attending National Conference and Regional Hui.

Regional Support

Caring Families Aotearoa has ten Regional Coordinators covering New Zealand. They provide advice, guidance and support to individual members, member Associations and Support Groups and agencies in their regions.

They also network with Non Government Organisations (NGO) and their local Oranga Tamariki sites. Should you need support, advice or would like to be connected to caregivers in your area please contact the Regional Coordinator in your area.

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