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More funding required to save our children

Media Release, 5 October 2017

More funding required to save our children.

Lack of funding for the innovative approach by 1000 Days Trust to ensure babies get the best start in life is surprising when New Zealand’s leading children’s doctor, Dr Johan Morreau is advocating that more be done at the recent inquest into the death of Moki Rangitoheriri. Initially the 1000 Days Trust was set up with seed funding by the South Island’s Whānau Ora agency, Te Pūtahitanga o Te Waipounamu, to see if its approach could support whānau using a whole of family approach, in this way directly responding to child vulnerability.

Research into the initiative showed outstanding results with countless stories of significant transformation that service agencies had identified as vulnerable. Chair of 1000 Days Trust, Prue Halstead says, “Our early intervention model takes primary caregivers of new born babies deemed at risk to help figure out their needs. The intensive process happens over five days and unpacks any issues, starting with sleeping and feeding and this helps to separate out other issues that we can work with the whānau to address in a non-judgemental, non-threatening and sustainable way.”

“Our model is collaborative and our staff are highly trained health and social sector professionals who aim to change negative trajectories for children by putting in the effort in the first 1000 days of babies lives,” says Prue. “However the greatest specialist skill is the commitment to being whānau-centred in action and in word”.

1000 Days Trust work with children who may have been abused and suffer from secondary factors such as housing stability, debt, isolation, addiction and gambling. The Trust works to put mechanisms in place to support the family to deal with those issues to remove any risk to the child. By working with the whānau the Trust can make changes that are sustainable and effective for them.

The Trust can also create significant economic gains from a small investment.

“We have worked with the Trust to showcase the model at the highest level because it has the potential to have a significant impact on lifting wellbeing for whānau and by association, all our children” says Helen Leahy, Pouarahi / Chief Executive of Te Putahitanga o Te Waipounamu.

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