New helpline for caregivers

More caregivers are receiving expert support, with the launch of a new nationwide phone line by Oranga Tamariki–Ministry for Children.

Children’s Minister Tracey Martin was in Auckland today to open the 24/7 Caregiver Guidance and Advice Line – a dedicated phone line to provide round-the-clock support and advice to Oranga Tamariki caregivers.

“We know that providing care to children and young people can be rewarding but also has its challenges – and sometimes a little help is necessary for those doing the care,” says Tracey Martin.

Many caregivers live in remote and rural areas and most want to be able to access help without leaving home. The phone line, which is available 24 hours, seven days a week, is answered by qualified social workers.

“We know we need to provide better support to our caregivers, and this is one of the first steps,” says Tracey Martin. “The caregivers have told us that having someone to call on whenever they need it could make all the difference.”

Caregivers can call 0508 CARERS (0508 227 377) for any advice relating to children in their care, including practical advice and support and help around behavioural issues.

Tracey Martin says the 24/7 Caregiver Guidance and Advice line has been designed by caregivers, and follows a successful pilot in June last year.

“The improvements that we need to make to the wider system of care includes providing more loving and stable homes for children and finding more caregivers. But it’s important that we look after the ones we have and it’s great to see this piece of support.”

 

Media contact: Richard Ninness 021 892 536