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Plunket seeks feedback on plans to improve services for Asian families

Plunket is launching its draft 'Asian People's Strategy' today, inviting feedback from the Asian community on its plans to ensure its services are relevant and accessible to the growing number of Asian families in New Zealand.

Plunket is New Zealand’s largest provider of free healthcare services to families with children aged 0 to 5, offering 'Well Child Tamariki Ora' health checks at key stages of children’s development, either through Plunket nurse home visits or at Plunket clinics. It also offers family support services free or at low cost, from playgroups to parenting courses.

Asian people are now the third largest ethnic group in New Zealand, and the fastest growing. Between 2006 and 2012 the number of Asian newborn babies enrolled with Plunket nearly doubled (increasing by 47%), prompting the organisation to launch an initiative to determine how it could better meet Asian families’ needs. Around 15% of newborn babies enrolled with Plunket are of Asian ethnicity/descent, including Chinese, Indian, Korean, Filipino, Cambodian, Vietnamese, Sri Lankan, Japanese, Afghani.

“I’m delighted to launch the Asian People’s strategy today, and I’d like to thank the many people and community groups who have worked with us to develop the plans. The strategy will bring a new focus and coordination to our efforts to ensure our services are accessible and culturally relevant to Asian families,” Jenny Prince, Plunket’s Chief Executive. “It is part of Plunket’s approach to continually respond to the changing needs of families, and ensure parents know we are here to support them to improve their children’s health outcomes.”

The strategy incorporates many of the recommendations made by Asian families in research Plunket conducted in 2013 - from developing more parenting resources in Asian languages, to improving the cultural competence and language skills of frontline staff.

It has been developed by Vivian Cheung, appointed as Plunket’s National Advisor - Asian Peoples in April 2014. Vivian has a background in psychology and involvement in various community organizations, including being one of the founders and the Chair for The Asian Network Inc (TANI) in 2002-2005.

“The strategy will help us support Asian parents who may experience different challenges raising their children in New Zealand, within the context of their cultural background. Some parenting practices in New Zealand are not as common to some Asian cultures traditionally, and we want staff to be aware of these differences, and adapt to them. It’s exciting to be part of this journey with parents. Often it’s about being creative, for example, the importance of adapting parenting classes to acknowledge traditional Asian parenting practices.”

Ms Cheung said the strategy has a focus building stronger relationships with Asian community groups, and ensuring Asian families know about and use Plunket’s services: “We’ve seen a growth in the number of Asian families using our services in the last few years, however the research found that there are still many who are unaware of Plunket or our services.”

Plunket is inviting the Asian community to give feedback on its draft plan. Over the coming 3 months Vivian will meet with Asian community groups directly to get their feedback, and consult wtih Asian families through the Plunket national network. If you have any ideas how Plunket can better support your community, or you’d like to make a suggestion for the strategy, please email asianstrategy@plunket.org.nz by 31 October.

For more information contact:

Jen Riches | Plunket Media Manager
021405842 jen.riches@plunket.org.nz  

About Plunket

For over a century Plunket has been giving families in New Zealand the support they need to nurture healthy, happy kiwi babies. 

Plunket is a not-for-profit organisation and is New Zealand’s largest provider of free 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 300 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 all families living 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 plunket.org.nz.

About BNZ – Principal Sponsor

Bank of New Zealand is proud to work hand in hand with Plunket to bring young New Zealand families support when they need it most.

BNZ is proud to have been a part of New Zealand since 1861 and looks forward to supporting another organisation that has been integral to our country's upbringing.

0 Comments Posted by Jen Riches on 24 July 2015

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