Pillars works with the children of prisoners, alongside their family, to give them the support and opportunities they need to succeed.
Pillars creates positive futures for the children and whanau of prisoners in Aotearoa, breaking the cycle of intergenerational offending.
Pillars has a range of programmes ranging from children developing a strong relationship with their father in prison, through to working with family and whanau and providing mentoring support to the children.
Pillars has well trained and experienced staff around the country with offices in Auckland, Hamilton, Christchurch, Dunedin and Invercargill. Pillars head office is based in Christchurch where the programme was first developed.
Today, Pillars is a well-established charity which has had significant impact on family and whanau relationships where a parent is in prison.
Programmes are research based to ensure they meet the needs of the constituency with whom we work.
Pillars core programme is a home-based family wrap-around service coupled with a mentoring programme where a volunteer mentor works with a child to assist the development of that child. Group support networks allow caregivers to work together to find solutions for the challenges they are facing.
Pillars main objective is to build a community where every child who has a parent in prison has access to support and appropriate services. These are delivered at the right time to give the child hope and the link to a positive future.
Our Values - Kaupapa
Integrity – pono
We have an organisation with high professional standards which demonstrates honesty, decency and trustworthiness.
Learning – ako
We embrace the process of reciprocal learning. Through research, we produce new knowledge and deepen our understanding. We learn from our families and our families learn from us.
Fair and Just – tika
We treat our families/whanau, partners and stakeholders with same value to ourselves. We respect their beliefs and practices. We work to the Children of Prisoners’ Bill of Rights.
Love and Support – aroha tautoko
Our every action is underpinned by aroha tautoko. Every thought and action comes from a place of love, compassion, support, inclusiveness and empathy.
Leadership – rangatiratanga
We value leadership at all levels in our organisation. We have a special responsibility to act with integrity, accept accountability, insist on excellence anmd support innovation. We motivate and inspire all those working with, or making decisions, about children of prisoners in Aotearoa/New Zealand.
Relations, Kinship and Connection – whanaungatanga
We recognise Maori as tangata whenua. We respect Tiriti o Waitangi and use its principles within our work.
Pillars has been working in the community for more than 30 years. The organisation was founded by Verna McFelin who had concerns that the children of prisoners were invisible and not receiving the support they needed to succeed.
The organisation has grown to embrace families and whanau in several centres in New Zealand. The range of programmes has developed over the years to provide support to all members of the family always with the goal to assist the children to have healthy, achieving lives.