Just Sayin': Survey of rangatahi eligible for a Transition Worker

Published: March 17, 2021

Presenting the findings from an annual survey of young people eligible for a Transition Worker (TW) under the Transition Support Service.


The Transition Support Service began on 1 July 2019. Part of the design is an evaluation process that enables the service to learn and grow over time. Just Sayin’ has been developed as a survey to hear the voices of rangatahi about how they are being supported, what difference the support has made for them, and to understand their living situations.

Information from the survey will help both service development and service update. This is the first in an annual series to measure key outcomes the Transition Service aims to achieve. It is one element of the overall evaluation programme with the next survey currently in preparation.

The survey was completed between May and July 2020 by 141 rangatahi eligible for a transition worker, by phone with a backup online option for those who could not be reached by phone. It was available in English and te Reo Māori.

Key findings

The survey results show a positive and encouraging start. Rangatahi are taking up the assistance being offered, and they value the support of their transition workers. They told us that having a Transition Worker they trusted and who was supportive and reliable made a difference to their lives. Those who chose not to be referred to a transition worker mainly said it was because they already lived independently.

  • Most rangatahi had been supported to find safe and stable living arrangements with whānau and/or friends, and had trusted adults they could turn to if life became difficult. (It is likely that rangatahi living in unsafe or unstable situations are under-represented in the survey, however.)
  • A family home was the most common place of residence for eligible Māori (53%) and eligible Pacific (59%) rangatahi. For non-Māori or nonpacific rangatahi 36% were in the family home and 26% in a flat they paid rent for.
  • The majority of rangatahi are receiving the support they need to transition to adulthood, but there is a small proportion who are not faring so well; this group includes rangatahi facing mental health issues. About one third of respondents said they had challenges with their mental health.
  • Three quarters of rangatahi told us they were hopeful about their future and detailed a range of goals they wanted to achieve relating to their career and study plans, their hopes for their whānau, their future, housing and overall lifestyle.
  • One of the main things we heard was that lots of rangatahi had moderate to serious worries about what might happen after they turn 18.
  • While the service is performing quite well, there is more to do to ensure that rangatahi are aware of their entitlements, and are referred to an appropriate transition support worker early enough to form a strong relationship.