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Children, young people excluded from sexual violence support

Press Release

Date 3 July 2018

Children and young people excluded from sexual violence support contracts

Te Ohaakii a Hine-National network Ending Sexual Violence Together (TOAH-NNEST) has written to Ministers Carmel Sepuloni (Ministry of Social Development MSD) and Tracey Martin (Oranga Tamariki OT), as it seems that an unintended consequence of the split between MSD and OT might be that children and young people are excluded from being seen under some of the MSD funded contracts to sexual violence support services.

This became apparent in contracts a year ago, but those contracts allowed a transition year. TOAH-NNEST has been working with MSD over the past 12 months to try to get specific funding in place to meet the needs of children and young people. However, this has not happened, and so from today, support to children and young people will not be funded under some MSD contracts for acute service provision following sexual harm.

Psychosocial impacts on children and young people can be significant and undermine their development in many areas of life. It is critical that children and young people who have experienced sexually harmful behaviour get access to what they need, when they need it. They will not stop needing help this week.

Spokesperson Russell Smith says that this contracting issue discriminates against the work and clinical practice of Kaupapa Māori services. It breaches the tikanga of whanaungatanga which in essence is inclusive of all whānau, regardless of age, that they receive the best possible care and protection.

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