Press Release – New Zealand Government
Whangareis Childrens Team goes live today, a milestone welcomed by Social Development Minister Paula Bennett.
1 October 2013
Whangarei Children’s Team underway
Whangarei’s Children’s Team goes live today, a milestone welcomed by Social Development Minister Paula Bennett.
“Children’s Teams are a new, community-driven way of engaging with and supporting vulnerable children and families,” Mrs Bennett said.
“I’ve visited Whangarei several times in recent months and am impressed with how enthusiastic and committed the community is to making a difference for their children.”
Children’s Teams see trained people in the community referring children who are at risk of abuse and neglect to a group of local professionals from health, welfare, education and social agencies.
This group is then tasked with connecting that child and their family with a lead professional, who’ll head the development of a plan for each child and make sure the right support is coming from the agencies involved.
Whangarei is the second Children’s Team to be established, and follows Rotorua, where the Children’s Team there has been working with vulnerable children since July.
In Rotorua, 16 children have so far had contact with professionals, and 35 community representatives have been trained in making referrals and working in a Children’s Team.
“Children’s Teams have been designed to be flexible and unique to the communities in which they are established,” Mrs Bennett said.
“They’ll evolve over time as we discover what works and what doesn’t, so that we can make the best possible impact for vulnerable children.”
“The Teams are a key component of the Children’s Action Plan, and represent how crucial it is for communities to take responsibility for the wellbeing of their children.”
Work is underway in finalising the locations of other Children’s Teams, with all Teams in action by the end of 2017.