The Whānau Centre gives families a place to meet and to work on ways to support their children’s education. It provides a venue for workshops on issues that affect our young people such as bullying, keeping safe, anger management, and budgeting.

The Centre coordinates our special needs programmes and provides social services support for families.

The Whānau Centre also incorporates our Student Health Centre

Whānau Centre programmes include:

  • Student Health and Fitness Programmes
  • Student Health Council
  • Health Initiatives
  • Keeping Safe Guidelines and Advice for Students


Rheumatic Fever Prevention Programme/School-based Health Clinic

Kia Aroha College has been part of the “Mana Kidz” initiative since 2012, supported by the Ministry of Health and Counties Manukau DHB and led by the National Hauora Coalition, to combat the serious childhood illness of rheumatic fever and to prevent skin infections.  Counties Manukau has been identified as a key geographical area in which to reduce the rate of rheumatic fever and Otara has been identified as the first of four priority areas in South Auckland in which this programme is established.

The Rheumatic Fever Prevention Programme provides free school-based health clinics for children aged 5-14 years, with throat checks, and includes services addressing other common health issues (skin infection, healthy housing and insulation, and injury prevention) and strengthen local capacity in rheumatic fever prevention. Under the programme pupils are regularly assessed by health professionals for possible throat infection and where necessary followed up with a course of antibiotics.

In 2014 this programme was extended to make clinics and these checks also available to students in Years 11-13.

Watch our former Mana Kidz Whānau Support Worker Tila’s video about her role and her own experience with rheumatic fever here

Break Free Project

The “Break Free” project is a culturally responsive two year intervention which aims to develop new pathways for students who present with a range of behaviours and/or histories which create major barriers to engagement in learning.  The purpose of the project is to personalise the response and support to the specific needs of each student to enable them to break free from the transcript they believe they have to follow or live up to, and develop a new story (restorying), by determining and agreeing on the way forward.   The Break Free Project was implemented in 2013, and is led by Whānau Centre staff together with teachers and whānau.

School Social Worker Contact: 09 274 5807 ext 719
Youth Health Nurse Contact: 09 274 5807 ext 704


The following people are working in the Whānau Centre.

Derryn Milne-Tupe: Senior Social Worker – Whānau Centre Director
Sheridan Hattaway: Youth Health Nurse helps students with medical issues including youth health issues, referrals to GP services, their general well being, youth assessments and sexual health.  Sheridan is able to prescribe some medications and is able to support our young people if they take any medical conditions or questions to her directly. 50% of Sheridan's’s time is taken up with the running of the Mana Kidz rheumatic fever and skin infections programme.
Ngarimu Waru: SWiS (Social Worker in Schools) scheme funded by MOE through local providers – Te Tai Awa o Te Ora.  Ngarimu works with Ys 7-8 students and is here alternate weeks.
Charles Matua:  Vocational Advisor
Buffy Simmonds: Adminstration Support Person
Social Work and Youth Health Trainees: The Whānau Centre also regularly welcomes students in training for long term placement, working under the supervision of our qualified senior staff