Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | Video | Questions Of the Day | Search

 


Serious health issues addressed for children in care

Hon Paula Bennett
Minister for Social Development

Associate Minister of Housing

12 March 2013 Media Statement

Serious health issues addressed for children in care

The $43.7 million initiative to provide Gateway Assessments for children in care is making a difference says Social Development Minister Paula Bennett.

This life-changing government initiative to address health, mental health and educational needs in children in care is picking up serious health issues.

“Children are in State care because they’ve suffered serious abuse or neglect which can have a devastating effect on their health and development.”

“This Government is so determined these children get the services they need and deserve, we’ve gone ahead and direct-purchased health and educational services through the Ministry of Social Development,” says Mrs Bennett.

Five children have received heart surgery following Gateway Assessments. A teenager was diagnosed with epilepsy and is getting treatment. A child with a club foot had orthopaedic surgery and was able to walk 12 months later.

A baby having feeding problems was found to have tongue tie; surgery the following day rectified the problem and the baby is now thriving. Another baby is in treatment after the discovery of a major illness and an enlarged kidney.

“These are just a few examples of how this Government’s investment in our most vulnerable children is making a difference,” says Mrs Bennett.

“Children in care have it tough enough before you add developmental delay, mental health and health problems to a toxic background of abuse and neglect – we’re doing something tangible to improve those odds.”

Gateway Assessments most frequent health needs identified:
• 51% emotional, behavioural or mental health needs.
• 26% dental issues
• 15% developmental delay
• 14% skin problems
• 13% speech and language problems

Almost 1,700 children in care have now been assessed, with an average of more than 3 needs per child picked up including educational delays.

Early data from teachers is showing us they found 25% of children have literacy problems, 24% have numeracy problems,19% comprehension issues and 11% have a higher than average level of school absence.

Assessments have also picked up hearing problems, eyesight issues, infections, bone problems, asthma, allergies and heart murmurs.

“These issues are now all being addressed, which shows why this is such a valuable investment for children who’ve had a rough start to life.”

“Without decent services these children grow up disadvantaged and at greater risk,” says Ms Bennett.

“Most children assessed are found to be behind their peers in reading, maths and comprehension so we’re providing extra teacher aides to help them.”

The National Government was the first to introduce a comprehensive assessment for children in care.

There are more than 4,000 children in care at any one time and more than 2,000 children go into care every year – all are eligible for this support.

The Children in Care package also includes:
• Early Childhood Education (ECE) for children in care
• Primary mental health services

Around 230 children in care are receiving ECE as a result of this initiative.

Every District Health Board is now implementing the Gateway Assessments. Northland DHB was the first to get underway and has achieved outstanding results to date. Hawkes Bay DHB is the last to come on board.

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

 

PARLIAMENT TODAY:

Regulators: Govt To ‘Crowd-Source’ Regulatory Advice

A wide-ranging set of reforms is to be implemented to shake up the way New Zealand government agencies develop, write and implement regulations. More>>

ALSO:

Board Appointments: Some Minister Appoint Less The 3 In 10 Women

“It’s 2015 not 1915: Ministers who appoint less than 3 in 10 women to their boards must do better, they have no excuse but to do better,” said Dr Blue. More>>

Gordon Campbell: On The 1990s Retro Proposals For Our Health System

As we learned yesterday, the reviews propose that the democratically elected representation on DHBs should be reduced, such that community wishes will be able to be over-ridden by political appointees. In today’s revelations, the reviews also propose a return to the destructive competitive health model of the 1990s. More>>

ALSO:

Post-Cab Press Conference: Foreign Buyers Register, TPP And Serco

At a press conference today in Wellington, John Key discussed the foreign buyers register as well as the TPP and Serco. Key was questioned on whether a stamp tax might be used as a tool to deal with foreign buyers. More>>

ALSO:

Lyndon Hood Satire: Serco To Outsource Prison To Public Sector

In response to high-profile failings, multinational omnicorporation Serco will introduce public management in its prison system. Serco's New Zealand manager, speaking on condition of anonymity, has announced plans for managers from the Department of Corrections to run the Mt Eden Correctional Facility. More>>

National Party Conference: Plans To Nudge Immigrants Towards Regions

The Government will introduce a package of immigration measures aimed at improving the spread of workers, skills and investment across New Zealand, Immigration Minister Michael Woodhouse says. More>>

ALSO:

Corrections: Serco Relieved Of Control At Mt Eden Prison, Retains Contract

Multi-national private prison operator Serco has been forced to hand back control of Auckland's Mt Eden remand prison to the Department of Corrections, which has used a 'step-in' clause in its contract with Serco following a string of increasingly serious allegations about contraband, prisoner injuries and a death. More>>

ALSO:

Other Experiments: Failing Charter School Stays Open 'For Kids'

Education Minister Hekia Parata says she has given Te Pumanawa o te Wairua in Northland a chance to continue operating because of her concerns about finding other educational opportunities for its students. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Parliament
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news