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Joint Initiative to Address Child Abuse & Neglect

Child Protection Action Group
Department of Child, Youth & Family


Monday 12 February

New Joint Initiative to Address Child Abuse & Neglect

A number of community groups working in the area of child abuse and neglect have approached the Department of Child Youth and Family to look at ways to support the Department in its work. “We have been heartened by the positive response from the Department to our offer to work with them,” said Ian Calder speaking on behalf of the newly formed Child Protection Action Group (CPAG).

CPAG is comprised of a number of community groups including; Relationship Services, the National Network for Stopping Violence Services, Child Abuse Prevention Service NZ, Women’s Refuge, the Salvation Army Community and Family Services, Presbyterian Support (Central), Plunket and Barnardos.

“CPAG arose out of the desire of those groups involved to see community groups take a stronger, more united and positive approach to addressing issues relating to child abuse,” said Mr Calder. “Within the groups making up CPAG we have a number of wide-ranging, proven and effective services which, alongside those offered by Child, Youth and Family, can make a real difference. We need to take concerted action to assist and support the Government in arriving at both short and long term solutions.”

“The initial focus will be to identify where it is possible for us to help with the Department’s workload in the area of child abuse. In the longer term, groups within CPAG may assist Child, Youth and Family with some of its on-going service delivery where we can offer particular expertise.”

Jackie Brown, Chief Executive of Child, Youth & Family, welcomed the initiative as a significant step towards the sector acting in unison to address this serious social issue.

“I see the development of closer collaboration between community groups and the Department as a very positive move which can only improve the outcomes for those New Zealand children facing abuse and neglect. We are experiencing an unprecedented increase in our workload,” said Jackie Brown. “A community approach to resolving the issue is critical and there are certainly areas where community groups can make a valuable contribution. “

Both CPAG and Child, Youth and Family recognise the need to work more closely together if real progress is to be made in turning around the unacceptable levels of child abuse and neglect currently found in New Zealand.

The next step is to use the expertise available from the CPAG organisations to address the immediate issues facing Child Youth and Family and to identify specific areas community groups can focus on, said Mr Calder and Ms Brown. CPAG will meet the Minister of Social Services Hon Steve Maharey later this week to ensure he is kept fully informed of developments.

For further comment please contact:

Ian Calder Chief Executive of Barnardos
04 385 7560

Jackie Brown Chief Executive of Child, Youth & Family
04 918 9110

Heather Henare National Coordinator, Child Abuse Prevention Service
04 472 9896
025 293 7437

Merepeka Raukawa-Tait Chief Executive, Women’s Refuge
04 802 5078

Paul Baigent Chief Executive, Plunket
04 471 0177

Liz Kinley, General Manager Professional Development and Special Projects, Relationship Services
04 472 8798

Paul Prestige Executive Officer, National Network for Stopping Violence Service
04 499 6384

Major Gloria Hobbs National Consultant, Salvation Army Community and Family Services
04 382 0712
Lorraine Ward General Manager, Family Support Services, Presbyterian Support (Central)
04 801 6284

Diana Linforth-Howden Manager, Wellington Family Support Centre, Presbyterian Support (Central).
04 801-9939

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