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

Teina Pora Wins Appeal: Gordon Campbell On The Privy Council Decision

The quashing of the convictions of Teina Pora for the rape and murder of Susan Burdett in 1992 has shone a spotlight once again on a major gap in the New Zealand justice system.

To all intents and purposes, access by New Zealanders to the Privy Council has now been closed. Yet the number of times in recent years when the Privy Council has quashed the findings of New Zealand courts has demonstrated that we are regularly
(a) jailing the wrong person or
(b) arriving at guilty verdicts on grounds sufficiently flawed as to raise serious doubts that a miscarriage of justice has occurred. More>>

 

PARLIAMENT TODAY:

Urgent Bill Planned: MP Pay Rises To Match Public Service

Prime Minister John Key today announced an overhaul of the Remuneration Authority Act, tying MP salaries to those of the wider public sector, which will be passed under urgency. More>>

ALSO:

PM's Press Conference: MP Pay Rises, Solid Energy, Iraq

Prime Minister John Key answered questions in his Post-Cabinet press conference about the Iraq deployment, Solid Energy and National’s decision to overhaul the Remuneration Authority Act. More>>

ALSO:

Worksafe: MSD Charged Over Work And Income Ashburton Shooting

WorkSafe NZ has laid one charge against the Ministry of Social Development (MSD) in relation to the shooting at the MSD Ashburton office on 1 September 2014 in which two Work and Income staff were killed and another was injured. More>>

ALSO:

Iraq: Ex-Hostage Says Government Not Putting NZers, Iraqis First

Harmeet Singh Sooden is travelling to Iraq in the coming weeks to work with Christian Peacemaker Teams (CPT) on a short-term assignment. More>>

ALSO:

Joint Statement: Australia-New Zealand Leaders’ Meeting

Prime Minister Key warmly welcomed Prime Minister Abbott and Mrs Abbott to New Zealand. The visit has enabled wide-ranging and substantive discussion that has underlined the strength, value, diversity and warmth of our trans-Tasman relationship. More>>

ALSO:

Press Conference: Peters To Stand In Northland By-Election

New Zealand First Leader Winston Peters has announced his intention to stand in the Northland by-election, citing his own links to the electorate and ongoing neglect of the region by central government. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On The Wage Hike For MPs (and Paul Robeson)

Hard to tell what is more infuriating. Is it the 5.3% increase on the already bloated salaries of MPs, or their pantomime of outrage at being gifted with such a wonderful back-dated bonanza? More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Parliament
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news