The aim of Refocus is to enable all families and young people to become thriving members of New Zealand society.

The service offers a child-focused intervention, which aims to break cycles which can result in young people entering the youth justice system. The programme is a holistic service which recognises how the ‘bigger picture’ contributes to young individuals becoming offenders and works with the whole whānau for up to five years. The team’s ability to work alongside whānau who live with inter-generational complexity is widely valued within our community.

The success of the Refocus intervention relies on the trust and relationships the team build with the children, young people and their whānau. The relationships formed through the programme give the opportunity to best support clients to effect change.


The Refocus programme is an early intervention which typically works with children aged between 7 and 9 when they enter the programme. Placing the young person at its centre, it breaks inter-generational cycles of underachievement.

It does this by developing trusting relationships with whānau and individuals and assisting them to develop and grow into confident and contributing members of society. Kaimahi whānau and kaimahi rangitahi support whānau to build relationships, both inter-generationally and with the community and other organisations.

The programme helps families build resilience and teaches young people ways to rise above their circumstances, creates opportunities for them to contribute to society and develop personal awareness.

Research has shown that falling out of education early significantly increases a young person’s risk of entering the youth justice system. The programme also supports young people to remain engaged in education, and participate in pro-social activities such as sports and other hobbies.

Referral & waiting list:

We take referrals from any statutory or community organisation and families can self-refer. Please click here for the referral form.

As Refocus is a five-year intervention and spaces are limited, there is often a long waiting list and we cannot guarantee that we can take every referral.

Our staff 

All of our case-workers and mentors are fully trained and affiliated to relevant professional bodies. To find out more about our team please click here.



Watch our Refocus story: E Tipu e Rea