Fifth Children’s Team goes live in Hamilton

  • Anne Tolley
Social Development

Social Development Minister Anne Tolley has officially launched the Hamilton Children’s Team, the fifth of ten approved Teams to be rolled out across the country.

Children’s Teams ensure that at-risk children have an individually-tailored support plan and single point of contact to work alongside the child and their family and other social services, as well as health and education agencies.

“Children have a fundamental right to have their needs met and to be safe from abuse and neglect. Children’s Teams provide children and their families/whanau with the right support and services to ensure they don’t require state intervention, and to help them thrive,” Mrs Tolley says.

“This is not about adding more services, but making sure those children who need support have access to the right services at the right time. It also means professionals must work together across agencies to ensure the best outcome for every vulnerable child they work with.”

The Hamilton Children’s Team will trial the Vulnerable Children’s Hub, a contact point for professionals who are worried about a child, and the Vulnerable Kids Information System (ViKI) which will allow professionals working with a child to share and manage information about a child.

“It’s vital Children’s Teams are equipped with the tools they need to ensure all professionals working with these children and young people have the full picture,” Mrs Tolley says.

Budget 2015 allocated $2.3 million funding for Hamilton to pilot ViKI, which will be rolled out in the next few weeks. If the pilot is successful ViKI is intended to be rolled out to all Children’s Teams.

“A lot of work has gone into launching the Hamilton Children’s Team and I want to thank all of those involved for their hard work and dedication,” Mrs Tolley says.

Once it reaches scale, the Hamilton Children’s Team is expected to be working with 650 vulnerable children and their families at any one time.

Children’s Teams are accepting referrals in Whangarei, Rotorua, Horowhenua/Ōtaki and Marlborough.

Eastern Bay of Plenty, Gisborne, Whanganui, Christchurch and Clendon/ Manurewa/Papakura are also currently establishing Teams.