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Child abuse agencies join forces under one roof

Child abuse agencies join forces under one roof

The process of investigating and dealing with the effects of child abuse in Auckland has been made easier for children, young people and their families with the opening of Puawaitahi – a multi-agency centre – in Grafton, Social Services and Employment Minister Steve Maharey said today.

Three agencies – Child, Youth and Family, Auckland District Health Board and the NZ Police – have met the bulk of costs associated with refurbishing and equipping the building. Starship Foundation has managed fundraising for the specialist health services that will be provided by the facility.

Speaking at the official opening ceremony, Steve Maharey said Puawaitahi is a significant step forward in providing coordinated support for families, encourages greater cooperation between various professionals they are involved with.

“Through the support and efforts of key agencies, community groups and dedicated individuals, a specialist facility is now available that has been designed specifically for coordinated care for children and young people who have or may have been abused.

“Puawaitahi has been four years in the making and today reinforces that great things can be achieved when we work together towards a common goal.

“Staff from Child Youth and Family, Starship Children’s Hospital and the Police have relocated to the new centre. They are providing the same services although the closer physical proximity allows for speedier responses and helps to simplify the ongoing consultation that occurs in any investigation.

“We need to make sure that children and young people, and their families, get the services they need when they need them. There is a team of skilled and experienced people working at Puawaitahi who will work hard to make sure this happens,” Steve Maharey said.

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