Hohepa Homes was formed for the purpose of establishing and maintaining home schools throughout New Zealand for the curative education and social therapy of children, young persons and adults with intellectual disability.
Every Life Fully Lived
Its founding principles were inspired by the work of Rudolf Steiner, Ph.D. philosopher, scientist and educator who lived from 1861-1925. His development of Spiritual Science, or Anthroposophy, created a picture of humanity which encompassed the depth and breadth of the physical body, the soul life and of the eternal spiritual nature.
Steiner elaborated this view through many books, lectures and practical means, and through the development of Social Therapy and Curative Education. His inspiration and genius led to holistic ways of working in many fields, to name a few: education (Waldorf Schools), special education, medicine, science, agriculture (biodynamic farming), drama and architecture – this continues to be the inspiration for the work at Hohepa.
Hohepa’s aim is to support people with intellectual disabilities to develop to their fullest potential, following the principles and teachings of Rudolf Steiner, whose approach to human psychology and education began from his understanding that in every human being, whatever their apparent impairment, there is a spiritual individuality at work, creating its own destiny.
Residential life at the Hohepa Hawke’s Bay community usually begins at the school, which maintains a curative education programme, based on the teachings and philosophies of Rudolph Steiner. The programme for the intellectually disabled includes the New Zealand Curriculum, and the school maintains close associations with the Ministry of Education. Students remain in the school up to the age of 21, when they may move to the adult programmes (provided places are available) or to the related Hohepa Auckland or Canterbury facilities.
Children and teenagers live in family-like homes scattered on the Poraiti site, where the house parent/family caters for up to six children, with varying support from other workers depending on the needs of individual children or young people.
The adult community life
The adult community life involves the residents in daily vocational programmes, ranging from craft skills for weaving, feltmaking, woodwork, candlemaking, farming and gardening. Life Plans include plans for personal development and achievement in these vocational areas, with some linked to NZQA accredited courses and certificates. Products from the farm and craft studios may be sold through the on-site shop.
Some residents gain work in the community beyond Hohepa. Participating in the wider general community is also an important part of life, with programmes such as Riding For Disabled, sports programmes and participating in shopping trips all part of regular life. As well as residences sited at Clive, Hohepa Hawke’s Bay has several houses around Napier, so that residents can live, with support, in the wider community.
Obligations and standards of care
Contracts and Legal Agreements with the Ministry of Health and the Ministry of Social Development define obligations and standards of care, and regular audits are conducted to check our performance. We maintain well defined policies and procedures, and apply our own internal checking systems, to ensure high standards of care are constantly maintained.
The anthroposophical principles based on Rudolph Steiner’s Philosphy are integral to the practices and life plans, around both social therapy programmes and health.