Phillip Chapman, MSA Chair
“Don’t be afraid to take an unfamiliar path Sometimes they’re the ones that take you to the best places”
Kia ora koutou.
AN ESSENTIAL SERVICE – NAVIGATING COVID-19
At this time of uncertainty, it is important to reflect on the roles that we all play in enabling and assuring the wellbeing of male survivors of sexual violence and to consider how we can continue this work in an operating environment that is increasingly threatened by the health risks associated with the COVID-19 virus.
While the challenge of finding new ways to provide support to our survivor-client communities may be daunting, I am encouraged in the belief that this enquiry is likely to result in longer term benefits. I believe we are likely to discover and enable new ways of supporting our clients that may become future ‘business as usual’ – travelling “unfamiliar paths to find better places” so to speak.
I am reminded about the essential nature of the work we do by a quote from our recently published Peer Support brochure…
“We are all social beings by nature – connectedness and community are necessary if not vital to our wellbeing. The very existence of positive social relationships can be a source of healing for many psychological wounds”
The potential for our peer support services to build and sustain these enabling social relationships is embraced by the following quotation from the same publication…
“There is a great deal of strength in knowing someone who has walked where you are walking and now has a life of their choosing”
And so, we know that the work we do must continue if we are to support our clients to cope with the additionally stressful challenges that COVID-19 will present to many of them.
As we all feel the expanding impacts of the spread of COVID-19 throughout our communities and begin to deal with the practical realities of self-isolation and physical-distancing, I am particularly concerned about the impacts of these necessary constraints on our male survivor community – including our peer workers, counsellors and social workers who support them.
The challenge we all face is how to sustain the social connections that we know are so critical to maintaining the capacity of many survivors to navigate their daily lives and keep ‘moving forward’ on their own recovery journeys.
The challenge for our peer-workers, counsellors and social workers is to find new ways of working that not only ensure their own wellbeing but also assure the health and safety of our survivor-clients. We are already implementing the more obvious solutions by enabling our people to work from home and establishing virtual service connections (email, text, chat, skype, zoom etc.) that avoid face to face and group meeting situations.
While this way of working responds to the need to contain COVID-19 and suppress community transmission it presents particular service challenges for our support centres:
- Not all of our clients have easy access to the technologies (mobile phones, internet, computers etc.) that enable and support remote contact;
- Physical (albeit distanced) contact will remain an important mode of social connection for many clients;
- Many of our clients will be additionally stressed by COVID-19 impacts with the likelihood that they will need additional support;
- The availability and capacity of our employees, volunteers and contractors to provide support is also likely to be affected by the impacts of COVID-19; and
- Not all of our service centres and/or our people may be appropriately equipped to support a virtual service environment.
This situation has become more challenging as we move to level four containment where most people are required to remain at home. This is clearly the right decision and Jacinda Adern and her team should be congratulated for their exemplary leadership at this is challenging time. However, this measure will inevitably cause significant economic and social disruption for many people and particularly for the communities that we serve on a daily basis.
I appreciate that there is no obvious ‘one-size-fits-all’ solution for our support centres who all face their own resource constraints and deal with client communities that have different demographics and different service support requirements. However, I remain optimistic and confident that given our past record of overcoming challenges in our 20-year quest to support male survivors we will ‘find a way’ to successfully navigate the current situation.
I can only encourage us all to keep our shared purpose in the forefront – enabling the wellbeing of male survivors – as we try to develop solutions that are relevant for our own situations and to share new ways of working with our clients and with each other. I encourage you to engage with your trustees, funders and service providers who also have a part to play in finding ways to activate and support the solutions you develop. And to collaborate with other organisations that work in the sexual violence sector that are also challenged to provide ongoing service relevance and continuity.
As we consider our approach to navigating this time of uncertainty, we could use the following checklist as a guide:
✓ Conform strictly with official Government COVID-19 policies and guidelines as they apply to your people and client-services:
- Workplace response to coronavirus (COVID-19) Government Employment Guide Covid-19
- Ministry of Social Development Programs MSD Information on Covid-19
✓ Assure the primary safety and wellbeing of our people and our client communities:
- Enable and support our people (peer workers, counsellors and social workers) to operate within a safe environment; support their wellbeing with appropriate care, supervision and co-reflection activities;
- Enable and support our clients to access services in a way that assures their safety and promotes their wellbeing, remembering that our peer support principle of self- determination means that we can influence but not direct their decisions.
✓ Maintain, as far as practicable, the opportunities for social connections and social networking that sustain the wellbeing of our clients:
- Ensure that our people have the technologies and tools they need to work remotely – in particular to deliver one-on-one support sessions and facilitate on-line group meetings;
- Findwaystoensurethatourclientshaveaccesstothetoolsandtechnologiesthatwill enable them to participate in remote support services, for example access to mobile phones and plan top-ups, access to on line sessions etc.;
✓ Carefully transition our people and clients to new support services in a way that sustains their service relationships and social connections:
- Whenever we shut a client service doorway, always open another services window, for example:
- Replace cancelled peer support group meetings with options for remote one- on-one and/or on-line support groups;
- Balance reduced opportunities for client drop-in access to personal services with increased access to ‘safe’ client service-centres (including access to necessary facilities, including technology).
- Keep in mind the right of our clients to choose their own recovery pathway, but also remember our obligation to ensure that those choices do not put others at risk, for example:
- In service situations where we can assure the safety of our own people but not our clients (e.g. clients decide to hold their own peer group meeting) we need to balance our obligations to advise our clients with their rights to make their own choices.
✓ Resource increased focus on maintaining client-service connections and follow-up activities:
- Ensure that our people have adequate capacity (time and resources) to make sure that our clients know we are still available to support them… that we continue to care about their wellbeing:
- Acknowledge that the required shift in service response will most likely require increased one-on-one and administrative time and resource this accordingly;
- Set contact targets that are focused on not losing track of clients who may fall below the radar and recognise that this is a longer-term investment in client wellbeing and likely to impact the available contact time for current clients in the medium term.
- Make sure that we listen to our clients and adapt our services to respond to their changing needs:
- Increase the focus on client feedback; be aware of their changing circumstances; capture their response to service change; and always be prepared to adapt
✓ Prepare for increased support needs as the current situation prompts more people to seek our help:
- Maintain service accessibility:
- Ensure that our normal call facilities are available appropriately staffed; and
- Think about those people who may not be able to easily access us and how we can be available to support them.
- Plan for extra resource requirements – people, technology and client support funding
It is paramount that we remain ‘in contact’ with our survivor-clients and find ways to continue supporting them through this challenging and stressful time.
OUR NATIONAL AGENDA
While we are now operating in a rapidly changing and uncertain environment, the national organisation is continuing to forge ahead with the implementation of its longer-term strategic agenda. With the obvious caveat that our plan timeframes are subject to the unknown impacts of Covid-19, the following brief snapshot of our current focus and the status of our key initiatives will give you some assurance that, although constrained, the national body is very much alive and well.
Funding F2021- F2023
All MSA policies have now been approved as appropriate to support the MSD Level Two accreditation required for contracting funding for the next three fiscal years (2021-23). All existing member organisations should have been contacted by their regional MSD contract managers and should be in the process of achieving Level 2 accreditation.
MSA policies can be uplifted from the website or referenced as required. Where they require modification for local application, MS Word copies can be provided, except for national policies and guidelines that are not subject to modification – e.g. MSA peer support guidelines and standards.
The national Board would like to acknowledge our MSD support team, in particular Rick Manley and Waylon Edwards who have been most helpful in facilitating our funding allocations for the next three years and also sourcing additional funding for our Kia Mārire strategy.
We are on track to complete the implementation of our national network of service centres with plans to establish new member organisations in the following regions:
- Tai Tokerau: We have completed our initial consultation with 12 Northland based organisations and are currently working to establish a service centre in Kerikeri. We have identified suitable premises and are currently recruiting trustees and staff with a view to being established by June 2020 with and official launch planned for August- September;
- Taranaki: We are seeking to establish a service centre in New Plymouth. We have recruited a Manager for the centre and are currently interviewing trustees and we plan to have with similar opening and launch dates as for Tai Tokerau;
- Hawkes Bay & Gisborne: We are currently exploring partnering opportunities to establish a service centre in Hawkes Bay.
We also expect to begin planning for our expansion within Auckland in July. This will be a collaborative planning exercise involving appropriate people from MSD, Better Blokes and MSA and will result in a funded strategy to extend our services reach across the Auckland region.
Kia Mārire – Effectiveness with Māori
We are awaiting final confirmation of the funding allocated to this national strategy to begin the recruitment of our Pouārahi Māori. With our Rōpu Tautoko1 (an advisory committee to the MSA Board) already in place we are hopeful that this strategy can be launched to enable and support our entry in Tai Tokerau.
Committee for Survivors
The national trustees have decided that the composition of this important Board Committee is most appropriately made up of the Managers of all of our Member Organisations – in effect our service delivery leadership team. The committee is now formed and details can be found on the national website – [MSA Committee for Survivors]. We are hopeful that this committee will have its inaugural meeting in May.
National Training Program
We were privileged to welcome Shery Mead and her partner to join the 12 participants our advanced IPS training program which was held in Nelson in February.
Shery is the person who developed IPS, a program she has been championing internationally for many years.
We are planning another introductory course in July for which we already have 12 participants. Please contact us if you have appropriate people for registration. And we are continuing to work with Better Blokes exploring the possibilities for a national peer group facilitation training program.
We are very proud of the two new additions to our national publications – our Peer Support booklet and our Charter of Client Rights. Both publications are primarily focused on a male survivor audience but the peer support booklet is also a useful marketing tool to promote and explain peer support to other people.
The first version of the peer support booklet has been distributed free of charge to all membership organisations and will soon be reprinted with a Te Reo translation. The Charter, which will also be distributed free of charge will be available in April and will include a Te Reo translation.
We will also be updating the posters we distributed recently to include a Māori survivor image and to make these posters available in an A4 size.
We are making slower than expected progress with our national research project. So far, we only have 50 of the required 100 participants. If you know of survivors who would be prepared to contribute by completing a questionnaire and potentially participating in a focus group, please contact your local service manager or email me directly [email@example.com].
National Quality Assurance
The Covid-19 virus will interrupt our national quality assurance review of peer-worker supervision, which is now unlikely to be completed until the fourth quarter of this calendar year. Mike Cagney (National Trustee), who has recently completed his review with Better Blokes (Auckland) confirms that the exercise is proving useful both in terms of quality assuring the policy, but also as an education exercise for membership governance and management teams as well as the peer workers involved.
Congratulations to the MOSAIC team on the staging of a very successful symposium on “Male Trauma and Sexual Abuse Recovery”. It was not only a very instructive event for all participants, but it also provided an important inter-services networking opportunity and a useful platform for encouraging inter-disciplinary dialogue.
The symposium was an initiative of Richard Jeffery (MOSAIC) (left), lead facilitated the well- known trauma specialist Rick Goodwin (right) with MSA represented by the ‘boxer’ in the middle – Ken Clearwater (National Advocate)
Dealing with male trauma generally is becoming an increasingly important aspect of our national services agenda and one that we intend to focus more on in the future. And we look forward to opportunities for MSA to co-host more national educational events that inform, and thus enable, our people and our collaborators to improve the services we can offer to our male survivor community across Aotearoa
On behalf of my fellow trustees, Noho ora mai
Ngā mihi o te wā me te Tau Hou
Please look after yourself, your teams, your family and friends and our survivors
Phillip Chapman, MSA Chair
Kia ora koutou,
The end of 2019 provides a welcome opportunity to pause, reflect and re-energise as we approach a demanding schedule of work in the first half of 2020. This update highlights some of our achievements over the last six months, but it also signals some important and demanding initiatives that will focus the activities of Trustee and the leadership of our Member Organisations (MMO’s) going forward. Our key initiatives for the upcoming year include:
- Launching our effectiveness for Māori strategy;
- Establishing new MMO’s in Tai Tokerau, Taranaki and Gisborne;
- Ensuring that MSA and all of our MMO’s achieve MSD Level 2 accreditation to enable
future funding contracts;
- Increasing awareness of our services through our communications program; and
- Continuing our focus on the quality of our services and the education and training of our people.
It’s a very busy year ahead. I hope that you are able to take time out to enjoy the Holiday break with your families and friends.
My sincere thanks to my fellow trustees, and the trustees, management and staff of our MMO’s for all of your good work in ‘enabling the wellbeing of male survivors of sexual abuse’.
Effectiveness for Maori – Kia Maarire
2020 will see the realisation of an important strategic initiative (Kia Maarire) aimed at increasing the effectiveness of the support services offered by MSA and its MMO’s to Māori male survivors of sexual violence. The essence of the initiative is to enable and support the MSA Board and the leadership of its MMO’s to engage effectively with Māori Kaupapa Services and other Iwi-based services, fostering understanding and collaboration to achieve the best outcomes for Māori survivors who form more than 50% of our male survivor community.
To execute this strategic initiative MSA have established a Te Rōpu Tautoko that will operate as an advisory subcommittee to the MSA Board of Trustees. The founding members of the Te Rōpu Tautoko, appointed by the MSA Board, are:
- Oliver Sutherland,
- Ta/Sir Mark Solomon (Ngai Tahu, Ngati Kuri),
- Shane Graham (Ngati Raukawa, Ngati Ranginui),
- Dexter Traill (Ngati Kahungunu, Rangitane), and
- Dr. Lorraine Eade (Ngati Toa, Ngati Rarua, Ngai Tahu).
MSA have established a new role – Pouarahi Māori (National Māori Coordinator) – and hope to make an appointment during the first quarter of 2020. This initiative will be critical in enabling and supporting MSA’s intention to expand its services network especially within regions where effective engagement with Māori service providers is essential, for example Te Tai Tokerau.
I would like to acknowledge Shane Graham, a member of the MSA Board, for initiating this strategy and also MSD for providing the funding to make it possible.
Consistent with our ambition “to establish a sustainable national network of quality support services for male survivors in Aotearoa” we have been progressing a number of national initiatives. As anticipated in the June update, we opened the doors of our new Tauranga-based Service Centre in August.
The centre hosted two opening events which were well supported by local civic, health and social service organisations.
The last few months have been focussed on quietly establishing the centre with services intended to be fully active from February 2020. Male Survivors Bay of Plenty will initially provide peer- support and referral services for male survivors throughout the Bay of Plenty with the possibility of an extended service to Rotorua and Taupo in the future.
I would like to acknowledge the special contribution of Mike Holloway (Male Support Services Waikato) for initiating this venture and for his energy and commitment that has been a critical factor in establishing the centre.
We are also pleased to welcome Mosaic as a new Wellington-based MMO of MSA. Mosaic is an established organisation providing peer support and counselling services for children, adolescent and adult survivors of sexual abuse and brings a special focus on the University and LBGTQ communities in Wellington. Mosaic will be working alongside our other Wellington-based MMO – Male Survivors Wellington – to strengthen and expand the services available in the wider Wellington region.
Mosaic is also hosting a conference and symposium in February 10 -14, 2020 focussed on “Male Trauma and Sexual Abuse Recovery”, which will be led by a well-known trauma expert, Rick Goodwin. More information is available.
The MSA Trustees are also exploring opportunities to provide support services in other major other North Island centres where there is a high demand for male survivor support. Our current focus is on Te Tai Tokerau (Northland) with a support centre based in Kerikeri. Consultation with other service providers will take place in February 2020 with an objective of establishing the service centre in July.
We are also in discussion with interested parties in Taranaki with a view to establishing a new service centre in New Plymouth; and we are exploring options to develop a service centre in Gisborne.
Our Auckland-based service (Better Blokes) has recently established a new peer-support service in Manukau City in collaboration with the Salvation Army. This ia an important and welcome initiative to increase our engagement with Pasifika peoples in South Auckland.
A Fresh Focus on Communication
EXHIBITIONS: The Bristlecone project was an important participant in our first International (South-South) conference held in Christchurch in 2018. The photographs and stories of 23 survivors exhibited at the Canterbury Museum presented a confronting and yet engaging account of male survivors of sexual violence.
The Canterbury Museum have now gifted this exhibition to MSA and we plan to exhibit it around New Zealand over the next two years as part of our community engagement and survivor awareness strategy.
POSTER CAMPAIGNS: Using Bristlecone exhibition photographs and with the permission of the survivors we are creating a set of seven black and white A2 campaign posters that will support awareness campaigns to be launched in major centres over the next two years.
We are also publishing a set of A3 posters that we hope will help to encourage male survivors to seek help and support from our MMO’s across the country.
We will be releasing more new posters in the new year that reflect the diversity of our male survivor community. We hope to have posters featuring Māori and Pasifika survivors available in the first quarter of 2020.
If you want to obtain copies of these posters to display within your organisation please contact your nearest service centre.
BROCHURES: MSA have also recently published the following wallet size information brochures, initially for use by our Waikato, Bay of Plenty and Otago service centres. These brochures are designed for a multipurpose audience – to inform survivors and their supporters as well as organisations, colleagues, friends and potential supporters, about who we are and what we do.
Early in 2020 we will be publishing the first in a series of booklets to further inform male survivors about our services. The first publication titled Peer Support will provide information about this core service.
WEBSITES: MSA has also enabled the establishment of a new website for Male Survivors Bay of Plenty and the refreshment of the Male Survivors Otago website.
We welcome your feedback on these new/updated websites and any suggestions to improve them.
Peer Support Training
Group breakout session at MSA’s IPS Training HQ – the beautifully restored Fairfield House in Nelson
Intentional Peer Support (IPS) continues to be the essential strengths-based philosophy underpinning MSA’s peer support services. Another successful introductory course held in December with 18 participants takes the total number of peer workers trained in IPS to more than 55. However, this last course was a little different as for the first time it included four MSA sponsored participants from other organisations reflecting our intentions to work more closely with the crisis services; educate counsellors about peer support; and enable our Australian friends who work with survivors.
The 12 participants in our next IPS advanced course (February 2020), including some repeat participants, will mean that we now have more than 20 fully trained IPS peer workers supporting male survivors across New Zealand.
Our special thanks to Lisa Archibald and the training team from IPS Aotearoa NZ; to Ken Clearwater our course support person; and to Louis Chapman from The Male Room who facilities the Nelson venue and special travel arrangements. And, of course, thanks to our member organisations who have co-sponsored the training with MSA. It is quite an achievement that over the last two years we together have provided more than 75 IPS training opportunities for our peer workers.
The Ken Clearwater factor…
Following on from his Christchurch community award and his recognition in the Queen’s Birthday honours 2019 as an Officer of the New Zealand Order of Merit (ONZM), Ken Clearwater has again been recognised for his outstanding contribution to male survivors across New Zealand.
Ken has now been awarded the Canterbury Local Hero award, part of a national local hero programme that recognises outstanding contributions by individuals to their local communities.
As we have said previously, Ken has not only been the face of male survivors in New Zealand for nearly 30 years, he has driven essential changes that have helped countless men in New Zealand to access a recovery pathway towards a better future.
Congratulations (again) Ken!
MSA Research in progress…
Last year, MSA’s research team, led by our Trustee-Research, Associate Professor Louise Dixon, established a project to “Examine the journeys of adult male survivors of sexual abuse and the services they need: identifying effective practice and gaps from a ready model of peer support in New Zealand”.
The research design and ethical approvals were finally completed in July. The Research Team (Louise Dixon, Chris Bowden, Philip Chapman and David Mitchel) is currently engaged in recruiting survivors to complete a research questionnaire.
The interviews will then enable live interviews early in 2020. This has been a slower than expected process and our thanks to the 50 survivors that have participated so far. We would appreciate your help in encouraging more survivors to become engaged in this important research project.
All going well we expect to present the outcomes of the research at a special on-day Hui in November 2020.
Continuing focus on quality service
ACCREDITATION: MSA and all MMO’s are required to be compliant with MSD Level 2 Accreditation Standards by June 30 2020. Although a challenge for our smaller and emergent MMO’s this requirement will help to assure the quality of our peer-support services.
The Government’s 2019 budget assured funding for MSA and our MMO’s for the next three years from Fiscal21 – Fiscal23. However, this funding will only be available to organisations that have MSD level 2 accreditation. MSA is currently working with MSD to ensure that our published policies cover all level 2 requirements and are all level 2 compliant. This will assure our MMO’s that their required policy compliance under their membership agreements will also meet the level 2 standards. However, they will still need to demonstrate that they have the operational processes and procedures that are policy compliant.
Supporting this accreditation process will be an important focus for the MSA Board.
SUPERVISION: During the first quarter of 2020, MSA will perform its first policy review in collaboration with MMO’s. Assuring compliance with the MSA Supervision Policy will be the focus of the review, which recognises the critical importance of not only assuring the wellbeing of our managers and peer-workers, but also assuring the quality of our peer-support services and the safety and wellbeing of the male survivors in our care. The review emphasis will be on encouraging policy compliance but also looking for opportunities to improve the policy and associated supervision processes.
NEW POLICIES: Recent additions to MSA’s published policies include our Access & Equity policy and Working with Pasifika. We have also published a policy discussion paper on Working with Gangs.
On behalf of my fellow trustees,
Noho ora mai
Ngā mihi o te wā me te Tau Hou
Kia ora koutou
As we close out another successful financial year there is much to reflect on and much to celebrate. We have come a long way since we formed Male Survivors Aotearoa over five years ago. With six member-organisations supporting more than 1,000 men across Aotearoa we are now recognised as the official and authentic voice of New Zealand’s male survivor community both throughout Aotearoa and abroad.
Phillip Chapman, MSA Chair
Welcome to the new web presence of the Male Survivors of Sexual Abuse Trust Aotearoa NZ (MSSAT Aotearoa).
MSSAT Aotearoa has now been in existence for three years. With the overall aim of ensuring survivors experience safety and respect throughout their journey, MSSAT Aotearoa has made considerable progress. What has been achieved during this relatively short time is commendable and includes: