Waitemata DHB: National Programme Addressing Family Violence

Press Release – Waitemata District Health Board

Waitemata District Health Board has achieved the top ranking of all New Zealand DHBs in the Government-initiated Violence Intervention Programme (VIP). All 20 DHBs in the country are participating in the programme, which measures their responsiveness, …MEDIA RELEASE
4 October 2011

Waitemata DHB Tops All District Health Boards in National Programme Addressing Family Violence

Waitemata District Health Board has achieved the top ranking of all New Zealand DHBs in the Government-initiated Violence Intervention Programme (VIP). All 20 DHBs in the country are participating in the programme, which measures their responsiveness, support and service delivery in the area of family violence prevention.

The Ministry of Health (MoH) instituted the VIP in 2003 to help reduce the health impacts of family violence through early identification assessment and referral of victims presenting to health services. The VIP covers the areas of partner abuse and child abuse and neglect.

In the most recent evaluations completed for 2010/2011, Waitemata DHB achieved a score of 98% (out of 100) for Child Abuse and Neglect Programmes and a score of 96% in Partner Abuse Programmes. The Government’s target for each category is 70%.

“We are very proud of this achievement, as it underscores our commitment to responding to family violence and providing intervention and support across our communities,” says Dr Dale Bramley, chief executive officer at Waitemata DHB.

“Unfortunately, family violence continues to be a significant problem in New Zealand. The VIP can help us identify abuse early and provide immediate support to families. This reduces the number of incidents, protects children and partners from further harm, and ultimately can break the cycle of violence in our country.”

Waitemata DHB has a strong leadership focus on family violence. Leaders in various service areas have been appointed, and a strong social worker network help ensure the success of the family violence initiatives.

“We have very clear family violence policies, resources and procedures, as well as early intervention services in our organisation,” said Linda Harun, general manager of Child, Women and Family at Waitemata DHB.

Waitemata DHB works with various local government and non-government organisations, including local refuges and victim support agencies, to provide support and referrals to reduce the incidents and impacts of family violence.

Added Ms Harun: “Our success in the VIP comes on the heels of Waitemata DHB’s recent Memorandum of Understanding signing with Child Youth and Family and NZ Police to help protect the health and safety of children in New Zealand. A big part of the Waitemata DHB success is our many strong relationships with local government services and specialist family violence agencies.”

The MoH funds family violence intervention coordinator positions in all DHBs, audits DHB performance, supports related research and evaluation, and offers technical advice and training support to health services committed to the programme.

Sue Zimmerman, family violence project manager at MoH, commended Waitemata DHB on its performance: “We congratulate Waitemata DHB on achieving the highest programme implementation scores in 2010/2011 over all DHBs for both partner abuse and child abuse and neglect components. This result reflects significant leadership and organisational support as well as service delivery that is well aligned with Ministry-funded service specifications.”

The 2010/2011 VIP evaluations were the sixth audit of family violence programme monitoring, which began in 2003/2004. Evaluations were completed independently by the Auckland University of Technology. The full VIP report is available at www.moh.govt.nz/familyviolence.

Spokesperson available for interview.

ENDS

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