With the help of the New Zealand Lotteries Commission, an evaluation into the effectiveness of the work being undertaken by the South Kaipara Men and Family Centre has now been completed.  The evaluation research took the best part of  a year to complete and it was very much a 'part-time' exercise that was worked on whenever time permitted.  The help of Wikiriwhi Ratima and Kim Gordon was crucial to the designing of the Survey which was eventually completed by 101 respondents.  The survey was the principal instrument used to complete the evaluation but a series of interviews was also completed.  These, together with the survey data, were analysed to form the basis of the report.

All-in-all the findings were very positive: the work being undertaken by staff from the centre is highly valued and much appreciated by the community.  Indeed, a strong finding to emerge was that members of the public have a thirst for more of the same.   They would like to see the Men and Family Centre become a broker for even more community education activities than those already offered and they valued the counselling services that the Men and Family Centre has been able to provide.  

But although the report was overwhelmingly positive, not all was 'sugar and spice'.  By and large, the community felt that the Centre needs to do more by way of promoting its services.  However, it was also recognised that doing so might increase demands for services which the three part-time staff may not be able to meet.  The report also highlights the need for continuous funding for this kind of agency and the services which are provided.  

Just a week or so ago, aspects of the report was presented at the 2010 New Zealand Association of Counsellors' Research Conference.  The conference was limited to presenters only and presentations focused on recently completed work,  work-in-porgress or contemplated research.  Following the presentation by Jens Hansen and Andrew Connolly on our completed work, approaches were made by the editors of the Association's (refereed) Journal for the report to be used as the basis of a journal article.  Watch this space...   

In fact, there are two versions of the report that could be used to inform a journal article: there is a full version and an abridged version.  The full report is available upon request from either the South Kaipara Men and Family Centre of from the Woodhill Park Research Retreat.  It contains a literature review as well as a full discussion of the methodolgical underpinnings and the research procedures used to complete the evaluation research.  There is also an abridged version of the report which skirts over a lot of the more 'dry' academic detail and it is intended that this version be freely available to the public via this website.  The abridged version can be downloaded by clicking here.

Dr Jens J. Hansen 
Director, Woodhill Park Research Retreat