DHBs at forefront of family violence initiatives

  • Jo Goodhew
Health

Health professionals are taking a lead role in identifying and helping those vulnerable to abuse, with all 20 DHBs having set up Violence Intervention Programmes (VIPs), Associate Health Minister Jo Goodhew announced today.

“These VIPs seek to reduce and prevent the health impacts of violence and abuse through early identification, assessment and referral of victims presenting to DHBs,” said Mrs Goodhew.

“The DHBs are showing a true commitment not just to improving health outcomes, but to wider aspects of welfare.

“They are tackling this issue head on and want to make a real difference to the vulnerable people in our communities. Health professionals are in a unique and privileged position to be able to respond when partner and child abuse and neglect concerns are identified.

“Establishing mechanisms to identify and help those in violent situations is an integral part of the Government’s Supporting Vulnerable Children Action Plan – part of the programme of work to halt the rise in the number of assaults on children by 2017 as part of the Government’s Better Public Services targets.”

The Hospital Responsiveness to Family Violence evaluation of violence programmes carried out by AUT found that all DHBs have reached the Ministry of Health’s target for implementing partner abuse and child abuse and neglect intervention programmes a year earlier than expected.

“This isn’t just about health – it’s about all services right across government making an effort to tackle this in partnership with our communities. This is something we all need to work together on,” Mrs Goodhew said.

There is now a national Memorandum of Understanding between Child, Youth and Family, Police and DHBs for interagency collaboration around child protection concerns. Almost all DHBs also have agreements with regional refuge or similar services to support health professional training.

The AUT evaluation report is available at www.health.govt.nz.