14 November, 2012
Vulnerable Children’s Team for Whangarei
Social Development Minister Paula Bennett has announced the second Vulnerable Children’s Team will be rolled out in Whangarei.
“Children who are at risk of abuse or neglect need professionals who bring their expertise to the table and work in a coordinated manner putting the child at the centre of all decision making.”
“Professionals from a range of disciplines can act before children suffer serious abuse and prevent the worst from happening,” says Mrs Bennett.
Children’s Teams include a lead professional who has responsibility for keeping the plan on track and ensuring children access important services.
“We chose Whangarei for the second team because like Rotorua, the community both needs it and is ready for it,” says Mrs Bennett.
Child, Youth and Family recently signed a memorandum of understanding with Te Rūnanga A Iwi o Ngapuhi supporting early intervention with vulnerable Ngapuhi whānau and to address the root causes of child abuse and neglect.
In the last year there were 911 substantiated cases of abuse in Whangarei out of 21,525 in New Zealand and 25 per cent of Whangarei’s population are under twenty years old.
Work will start straight away with the community of Whangarei to bring the Children’s Team together and a Regional Director will be appointed to ensure funding and services are available for children locally.