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Budget '05: $12mn for children witnessing Violence

22 April 2005 Media Statement

Budget 2005
$12 million for services for children witnessing Family Violence

A $12 million investment in services for children who witness family violence is a key part of the government's commitment to eliminating violence within families, says Child Youth and Family Minister Ruth Dyson.

Speaking at the National Foster Care conference in Wellington, Ruth Dyson said the new service would ensure the needs and interests of children affected by family violence were appropriately addressed.

"The service will focus on ensuring the safety and wellbeing of children who witness violence within families," Ruth Dyson said. "It is essential that children are safe, well supported and able to access child-focussed services."

The service will see up to 45 child advocates placed in community NGOs around the country.

Child advocates will work with children who receive family violence services from both NGOs and government agencies. Their role will include:

- Education and awareness of the effects of family violence on children
- Ensuring all agencies respond to the needs of the child
- Advice and consultation with those working one-on-one with a child;
- Specialist assessment and referral for individual children where necessary.

"Family violence is a very difficult and complex issue. To make a difference we need to affect changes at a very personal level within communities and families."


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