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

 

Departure Speech: Governor-General’s State Farewell Luncheon

"...Unfortunately I was unable to get to the Antarctic, the Chatham Islands and the Kermadecs. A dicky heart thwarted our travel to the Antarctic; and even though I volunteered to parachute into the Kermadecs to join the Young Blake expedition, time, commitments and officials frustrated my plans to visit the Kermadecs and Chathams." More>>

ALSO:

New Research: Most Homeless People Working Or Studying

“The cost of housing has been rising without corresponding increases in income, whilst the number of state houses per capita has been in decline. Many low-income people are missing out on housing, whether we recognise them as ‘homeless’ or not. More>>

ALSO:

Post-Traynor: New Offender Info Sharing Plan

“This Bill delivers on that step-change by moving away from name-based records held by individual agencies to a shared, anchor identity based on unalterable information, such as fingerprints and facial recognition. It also gives agencies access to the drivers’ licence photo database and birth, death and marriages information." More>>

  • NZ Law Foundation - New $2M fund for research on information challenges
  • Littoral: New Ship To Deliver Enhanced Naval Capability

    Defence Minister Gerry Brownlee says the Government has approved a Ministry of Defence and New Zealand Defence Force recommendation to request tenders for a new naval ship to support littoral operations. More>>

    July:

    After King's Labour Snub: Māori Party And Kiingitanga To Work Together

    Māori Party Co-leaders Te Ururoa Flavell and Marama Fox met with Kiingitanga representatives in Wellington yesterday to discuss working together on key issues for the betterment of Māori. More>>

    ALSO:

    Waitangi Claim On Rehabilitation: The 'Justus' System For Māori Not Good Enough

    Closing statements at the Waitangi Tribunal case against Corrections called for immediate steps and a comprehensive review to address the high rate of Māori reoffending. More>>

    ALSO:

    Advice: PM Sets Rules For Ministers' Treatment Of Public Servants

    Prime Minister John Key has laid down the law about the way ministers and public servants should interact, saying ministers may not always like the advice they receive, but they must listen to it carefully, respectfully and professionally. More>>

    Gordon Campbell: On The Funding Changes In Special Needs Education, And Uber

    The plan to strip out the educational support for older “special needs” children in order to meet the existing shortfall in funding for special needs in early childhood education is so miserly and relentlessly stupid as to defy belief… More>>

    SPECIAL EDUCATION (& More):

    Online Learning Plans:

    Get More From Scoop

     

    LATEST HEADLINES

     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
    Parliament
    Search Scoop  
     
     
    Powered by Vodafone
    NZ independent news