14 June 2011
A Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) signed today between Plunket, Awarua Social and Health Services, and Invercargill Police will see more positive outcomes for children and their families.
Plunket Area Manager Barb Long says that better communication of information between Police and providers of Well Child and Tamariki Ora services will see more support for the city’s vulnerable families.
“This is about reducing incidents of family violence and protecting our most vulnerable citizens from abuse - which has a huge impact on a child’s development, particularly in the early years.
“We are looking for a fence at the top of the cliff approach to the issue. The more collective information we all have available to us, the better the services will be when looking at the complete health of a child and their relationships with their family”.
Invercargill Police Family violence co-ordinator, Sergeant Greg Baird says that the MOU will allow Police to provide more information to Well Child Providers about children and families that have been assessed by Police as needing extra help.
“The main benefit to Police is that if families get the right kind of help when they find themselves in stressful situations which can lead to violence, it makes it less likely that we will need to be called in.
“Informal relationships have been in place for some time. What the MOU does is formalise these relationships and provide a process for dealing with at risk families and support them to care for and raise their children safely.
Awarua Social & Health Services CEO Trish Young says the MOU will endorse a coordinated family services approach.
“Family violence is a problem nationally and organisations like Awarua have the capacity to offer a comprehensive range of social and health services.
“We have a responsibility to those family members who live with and endure family violence, especially our most susceptible – children”.
A similar MOU has been in place in Dunedin since 2009 and plans are in place for it to operate in rural Otago and Southland.
For more information contact
Southern District Communications Manager
03 471 4909; 027 556 1814
Plunket External Communications Executive
021 405 842
About Well Child Tamariki Ora
Well Child providers are funded by the Ministry of Health and work with families throughout New Zealand to provide support and health promotion free for all children under five.
About Awarua Social and Health Services
Awarua Social and Health Services is a kaupapa Māori health provider which caters for the needs of whānau from conception to kaumātua. A wide range of health related support services are provided to achieve a positive and healthy change for whanau.
Services include health advice and support for individuals and whanau, health education and promotion, pregnancy/birth care education and support, health planning, Well Child checks, registered Nurse visits, counselling and more.
Awarua delivers services to Invercargill, Bluff, Gore, Mataura, Wyndham, Lumsden, Ohai, Nightcaps, Riverton and all areas in between.
For more information visit http://www.awaruashs.maori.nz/index.cfm
For more than a century Plunket has been giving New Zealand parents the knowledge and support they need to nurture healthy, happy kiwi babies.
Plunket is a not-for-profit organisation and is New Zealand’s largest provider of services to support the health and development of children under five. Plunket is dedicated to working with parents and communities to ensure that New Zealand children get the best start in life. Plunket’s services help families nationwide, through over 550 branches, mobile clinics and a free phone service PlunketLine, available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week (0800 933 922).
Plunket services are available free to families in New Zealand with children aged 0 to 5. As registered nurses with a postgraduate qualification, Plunket nurses are able to offer high standards of expertise and a range of services to families.
For more information visit www.plunket.org.nz