Children’s Team working with first children

  • Paula Bennett
Housing Social Development

Today the Rotorua Children’s Team begins working with children and families for the first time, says Social Development Minister Paula Bennett.

“Children’s Teams support communities to better protect their children.”

Central to the Children’s Action Plan (CAP), Children’s Teams work with vulnerable children and their families to ensure children are safe from abuse.

The first Children’s Team is made up of a group of Rotorua-based senior professionals representing health, education, welfare and social services.

“A lead professional takes responsibility for each child and ensures each person from each agency achieves their part in the agreed plan.”

“Absolutely key is the accountability that flows from that lead professional, up through the Children’s Team, the Chief Executives who make up the Vulnerable Children’s Board and finally the responsible Ministers.”

“In so many serious cases of abuse, a number of people held pieces of the puzzle but none put the pieces together,” says Mrs Bennett.

“The Children’s Teams will shine a light on the full picture. They’ll also have the Ministerial backing to ensure every necessary service is provided to protect each child.”

The Teams are starting small and will carefully build up as capacity and confidence builds.

“I met with the team and local organisations last week and I know Rotorua is more than ready for this,” says Mrs Bennett.

The community sector is strong and local Government agencies have come together with real determination to make this work, now it’s up to families to work with Children’s Team for their children.”

Rotorua and Whangarei are the first demonstration sites.

Children’s Teams will come together throughout the rest of the country over time and will be fully up and running by the end of 2017.