Employee Stories

Jen Garton

Jen Garton

Practice Leader - Pae Whakatupuranga | FFT-CG, Auckland

Q - Why did you decide to join Youth Horizons | Kia Puāwai?

I felt that Youth Horizons would provide a supportive environment for me to grow professionally.

Q - What do you love about working for Youth Horizons | Kia Puāwai?

I love the diversity of staff and their expertise and willingness to support each other. I appreciate the bi-cultural focus and journey that both staff members and the organisation are committed to undertaking. And finally, as a long term employee of Youth Horizons | Kia Puāwai (11 years), I am grateful for the commitment to growing and developing staff skills and affording opportunities for professional development across the organisation.

Q - What has been your career journey with Youth Horizons | Kia Puāwai so far?

I began as an administrator in our Transition from Care to Independence programme (Ka Awatea) and moved into a personal advisor (Kai Atawhai) role for the same programme a couple of years later. Whilst completing part-time study in counselling, I then worked as the Individual Therapist for our Treatment Foster Care Oregon (TFCO) programme. When I graduated, I became a therapist on the Functional Family Therapy (FFT) team, and eventually moved into the Practice Leader role. 

I became aware that FFT developers were looking for consultants for the model, and so I applied to be a consultant and was accepted! I now provide international consultancy for other FFT teams.

For the last couple of years, as well as my consultancy, I have been the Practice Leader of an FFT pilot, Pae Whakatupuranga, and I really enjoy leading a team of seven therapists who are doing amazing mahi.

We asked Jen what she thinks about her mahi

Natasha TamianoTash Tamiano

Practice Leader, Teaching-Family Home, Auckland

Q - Why did you decide to join Youth Horizons | Kia Puāwai?

I currently work and manage one of our foster care treatment teams, based in Auckland. Opportunities just kept opening for me from that first day I had said yes.

Celebrating success of our young people's achievements and goals, managing any incidents or challenging behaviours that have arisen and address the needs of my young people, caregivers and staff.

Q - What do you love about working for Youth Horizons | Kia Puāwai?

I have grown so much in the time I have been with YH. I feel supported and I am mentored by great leaders who inspire and motivate me to push myself and provide me with so many different opportunities to improve the person that I am, sharpen my practice and clinical knowledge and provide me with a sense of whanau. I am encouraged to think outside the box and implement new ideas within my team to change things up.

Q - What has been your career journey with Youth Horizons | Kia Puāwai so far?

I first started with YH in 2015. I accepted a role as a Triple P practitioner in the FirstCare team and loved my time there. I was able to learn strategies and skills that were relevant to parents and was able to go into their homes and do one-to-one learning. I was with the FirstCare team for just over a year before being offered a secondment into the Specialised Caregiver Team (SCP). I was a social worker in the team for five months before then becoming the Practice Leader.

I am now the Practice Leader for one of our Teaching-Family Group Homes in Auckland, which I absolutely love. The team I work with are so passionate about supporting rangatahi, and I feel inspired every day.

It has been an exciting journey and I am very happy to be where I am now and am looking forward to seeing what the next few years of growth will look like.