For over 60 years, Barnardos New Zealand has been working with children and families in Aotearoa to build nurturing relationships and resilient homes and communities, so that children reach their full potential. 

At Barnardos, everything we do is for New Zealand children. 

As Aotearoa's largest children's charity, our strength is in the breadth and depth of support we offer. Whatever a child's needs, we will strive to meet them. Our experience and expertise mean our services make a positive, long-lasting difference to children's lives.

We never view anything in isolation. A child with a need belongs to a family or whānau. That family lives in a community. Those communities make up our nation. We believe in a nation where our children have every opportunity to shine bright. With your help, we will make this happen.

Together we can build stronger communities, one child at a time.

Our organisation has grown considerably since we opened our very first service in Mangere, Auckland, offering a childcare centre, on-site social workers and housing for mothers and their children. While the Mangere site still exists as an early learning centre, we are now part of communities throughout the motu and provide services in over 80 locations that support thousands of tamariki and rangatahi each year. 

All children and young people have the right to grow up safe, loved, and with hope for the future, but the reality is that too many children and young people in Aotearoa are impacted by long standing social and family problems that affect their everyday lives. Our mahi across social services, early learning services, and advocacy for children’s rights and wellbeing contributes to Barnardos’ vision of ‘an Aotearoa where every child shines bright’. ​​​​​​​

We advocate to drive change at the systems-level, so that national laws, policies, practices, and institutions meet the needs of all children and young people and uphold their rights.  

We offer early learning services to all under-fives, to create strong foundations for children’s educational and life outcomes. 

We provide social support services to children and whānau in our communities facing really tough times – including those who have experienced family violence, addiction, neglect and abuse, and those struggling with mental health issues. Our social services are a continuum, preventing problems before they get too overwhelming, to intensive help in the whanau home to help tamariki thrive, to also providing care for tamariki when it is really not possible to do so at home. 

The income to do this mahi comes from government funding, corporate and philanthropic support, parent fees for some services, and public fundraising. 

More about our services

Child & family services 
No two families are alike and every family has their ups and downs.

At Barnardos, we help families deal with some of the worst of these downs. Family violence. Child abuse. Neglect. Addictions. We tackle the hard stuff, intervening as early as possible to achieve the best outcome. Our work supports and empowers whānau to change and develop in ways which will last a lifetime.

Sometimes our support is as simple as helping families find better housing, build a budget or understand how children’s needs differ from their own. Other times, we do intensive work with families who may be suffering from generational abuse, long-term neglect and limited parenting skills. Whatever the situation, we build capability and resilience to enable brighter outcomes.
Early learning services
Education matters. It opens doors and paves paths. 

The earlier a child receives quality education, the more likely they are to develop the confidence and capability they’ll need to continue their learning at school. And those who struggle when they’re young suffer the most from these missed opportunities.

Through our KidStart programme, we teach kids the basics they need to have the best start at school. We also provide them with the tools they'll need to navigate their lives. We do this in partnership with the Te Whāriki ECE curriculum to help support the full range of skills children need as life-long learners.

Above all, we teach them the value of learning and the importance of trying their best. We believe passionately in the value and worth of every child.
Creating positive systemic change for children and families

We stand strongly for the rights and well-being of all children in Aotearoa. Across our early learning and social services, we talk with and work alongside tamariki, rangatahi and whānau from all walks of life. This means we have strong insights into children’s hopes and aspirations, as well as the challenges they’re facing. 

Our Advocacy Team works to uplift the voices and experiences of tamariki and whānau to be heard by decision makers and the wider public, so we can build an Aotearoa New Zealand where every child can flourish and realise their potential.