Horowhenua Ōtaki Children’s Team underway

  • Paula Bennett
Social Development

Social Development Minister Paula Bennett is welcoming the establishment of New Zealand’s third Children’s Team, in the Horowhenua and Ōtaki region.

“The Team will be officially launched tomorrow and I’m delighted the communities of Foxton, Levin, Shannon and Ōtaki have succeeded in getting up and running so quickly to implement a new approach to child protection in their area,” says Mrs Bennett.

Children’s Teams bring together a coordinated group of professionals to plan and wrap services around at-risk children early, to keep them safe from harm so they can thrive, achieve and belong.

“The new Levin/Ōtaki-based team, to be known locally as ‘Tamariki te Tuatahi’ (Children First), will have access to more than 25 Lead Professionals from a wide range of areas, including core government agencies, iwi, and community organisations, who’ll be available to work with the region’s families,” says Mrs Bennett.

“By offering each child who needs it wraparound care, fast-tracked access to services where possible and a single plan developed by professionals to improve their health and wellbeing, vulnerable children are being better protected, and kept safe from harm.”

“Two Children’s Teams have already been established in Rotorua and Whangarei and have provided valuable lessons in setting up ahead of the roll-out of eight further Teams to be underway by June next year.” 

“Children’s Teams are a key component of the Government’s Children’s Action Plan, which has more than 32 specific measures to address child abuse and ensure that New Zealand is a safe place for children to grow up and thrive.”