Children's Flexi Fund

As part of Budget 2020, Police and Oranga Tamariki secured specific funding for Children’s Services.

The Police portion of this funding is enabling children, tamariki and rangatahi to receive services to enhance their wellbeing. These funds are held and administered by the Mental Health Education and Resource Centre (MHERC) and can be accessed via an application process.

What does this mean?

The Children's Flexi Fund can fund immediate needs / service or support gaps for children, tamariki and rangatahi (up to and including age 18) identified as requiring support (with input from family and/or whānau); and who are experiencing family violence.

The purpose of the flexi fund is to directly or indirectly enhance tamariki / rangatahi wellbeing (following family harm) through the purchase of one-off or timebound goods or services.

Eligible children / tamariki / rangatahi

Those who can receive services funded through this initiative are:

  • children, tamariki and rangatahi up to and including those who are aged 18 years old;
  • who appear in family harm episodes (any episode role);
  • notified to Family Violence Interagency Response (FVIARs), Whāngaia Ngā Pā Harakeke (WNPH) sites, or Integrated Safety Response (ISR) sites and have been risk assessed and/or triaged (WNPH and ISR sites) or discussed (FVIARS sites); or
  • who are identified as having a history that includes family violence.

Funding is also available for non-resident children, tamariki and rangatahi who appear in family harm episodes that occur within New Zealand.

Who can apply?

The following are a list of eligible applicants who can apply for flexi funding:

  • Kaiāwhina/Kaipupuri engaged with a family or whānau
  • Police Family Intervention Teams or equivalent
  • Plan Leads (agency lead who has been tasked to lead a Family Safety Plan as part of a multi-agency family violence response)
  • FVIARs agency lead
  • Police staff engaging with family or whānau including those involved as School Community Officers (SCOs) or involved with Alternative Action Plans
  • Oranga Tamariki or other Government agency child advocate or equivalent, working with a family or whānau where family violence is identified
  • Non-Governmental Organisations or Iwi working with family or whānau where family violence is identified
  • Anyone else who may be acting in an advocacy role for a child e.g., family lawyer or lawyer for child

The criteria for eligible applicants is designed to be wide. If you are unsure if you, or the agency you work for meet the criteria to apply, please contact the Police National Harm Reduction team at

What information is required?

  • The application must:
    • relate to the individual wellbeing of each child for whom funding is sought;
    • be supported by the family and/or whānau - their voice must be included in the discussion of the child / tamariki / rangatahi’s needs and this should be recorded in any Family Safety Plan;
    • come from eligible applicants (listed above);
    • be specific and time framed and NOT required on an on-going and unlimited basis;
    • not relate to existing funding or funded services or supports that are available elsewhere or from another agency; and
    • include a quote or other evidence of the amount requested.
  • Please note, that if the application relates to the provision of services to children (rather than goods), the applicant must confirm that the service provider has a Child Protection Policy in place and completes children’s’ worker safety checks as required by the Children’s Act 2014.

How to apply

  • Access and download the MHERC form (PDF 723KB). Please make sure you download the form as if you do not, this may cause your inputs to be lost.
  • Fill in the form – please ensure that you have all the details that are requested. All parts of the form are required and must be filled in to maximise the ability to approve applications.
  • You may wish to reach out to the District Prevention Manager for the Police District you are in – this may be to discuss the possibility of the application and any questions you may have.
  • Please see the guidance (PDF 369KB) if you are applying for funding for goods from Rebel Sport or Noel Leeming.
  • District Prevention Managers (DPMs) within Police Districts approve or decline applications to the Children’s Flexi Fund. You may wish to reach out to the DPM for the Police District you are in – this may be to discuss the possibility of any application and any questions you may have.
  • Once you have completed the application form, send it to your DPM seeking approval. If you don’t know who your DPM is, please contact the Police National Harm Reduction team at
  • If approved, the approval will be sent to MHERC by the DPM and MHERC will advise you when payment has been made for the goods or services.
  • If the DPM cannot approve the application, they will let you know. You may need to provide further information.
You may also like to refer to the process map (PDF 143KB).

Frequently Asked Questions

What type of support or service can be provided?

This requires some thought to be given to the individual needs of each child/tamariki/rangatahi. Each child/tamariki/rangatahi will have diverse and possibly complex needs that require addressing. Supports and services must be designed to improve wellbeing and must not be able to be funded elsewhere,. An example of services that can be provided is trauma focussed counselling. Other examples include youth programmes and a sleeping pod lease for a rangatahi in an overcrowded house.

Where the funding relates to purchase of goods, please provide an overview of how this will enhance the child / tamariki / rangatahi wellbeing.

You can refer to this Case Study Pack to see some examples of how funding has been spent.


Who can apply for funding?

The list of who can apply is above. If you wish to apply but you do not think you are an eligible applicant, please check with the Police National Harm Reduction team to see if an application can be progressed.


What are the benefits of flexi-funding?

Flexi-funding enables the purchase of services not funded through other means. Flexi funding can help access to services or responses where it would otherwise be difficult or impossible to do so.

Many of the families and whānau experiencing family violence do not have the funds to access services on their own accord. A flexi fund process ensures that everyone can get the services they need. Flexi-funding also enables tailored services to be provided where specific needs of children, tamariki or rangatahi are identified. Each child, tamariki or rangatahi may have complex or different needs from others. Flexi funding enables the right service to be sought and funded, based on individual requirements. This has benefits for all families and whanau. In particular,where there are diverse cultural or bespoke needs - eg, in Māori/Pasifika and Ethnic communities.


What are the expected benefits of the flexi-funding approach and how will it be tracked?

Flexi funding provides flexibility to meet individual needs of children, tamariki and rangatahi. No one person is the same and each has different needs and flexi funding allows for diversity of approaches The funding is being tracked through a robust evaluation process. Evaluation processes have been designed to enable system learning, and drive ongoing improvement in the delivery of services and responses.

A 2021 Process Evaluation was recently completed on the fund by Allen & Clarke (PDF 651.54KB). It is intended that an outcomes evaluation will also take place at a later time.


What additional funding did Oranga Tamariki receive?

Oranga Tamariki received funding into Vote Children as part of Budget 2020. This was used to “top up” existing providers of services for children. The ‘top up’ was designed to enable better responses to children experiencing family violence and enable more collaboration between those providers and the family violence response sites such as FVIARs, WNPH and ISR.

Please note, that where an agency has been ‘topped up’ by Oranga Tamariki, that agency can still make an application to the flexi fund to support a child / tamariki /rangatahi.