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

Syriza Winning Greek Election: The Rumblings Of The Left

Binoy Kampmark: The left – and by this, the genuine, progressive, unmanagerial left – is getting noisy. The Greek elections are upon us, with the similar challenges being played out from 2012. There are fears of Grexit – a heavy breathing departure from the eurozone that will do everything to rattle the central currency mechanism that has been taking a battering...

Much of this has been triggered by the moral outrage and political response of the left grouping centred on Syriza of Greece. The movement has been said to have similarities to a new constellation of power in Spain, led by Podemos. Syriza, led by Alexis Tsipras, has promised to renegotiate the terms of Greece’s 240 billion euro international bailout arrangements. Both parties point out to the distance between elector and the elected, a creeping death of democratic accountability in favour of market propriety. More>>

 

Transport: Auckland Looks To Light Rail

The Board of Auckland Transport has called for an investigation into a light rail network, which could relieve traffic congestion on some of the region’s busiest roads. This stems from work in 2012 (the City Centre Future Access study) which responded to a government request to develop a robust and achievable solution for access to the CBD. More>>

ALSO:

RMA: Smith's Claims Don't Match Evidence - Greens

The Motu group’s research into the impacts of planning rules looked at the costs related to housing development but not the benefits of environmental protections and does not recommend significant changes to the RMA to reduce the cost of new house builds. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On The Similarities Between John Key And David Cameron

For years now, David Cameron has been the closest available thing to a mentor/analogue to our Prime Minister, such that Key watchers could be interested in an analysis of Cameron that appeared in the British press over the Christmas break. More>>

Gordon Campbell: On Ian Fletcher Resignation & GCSB’s New Role

It may well be that after being shoulder-tapped in Queensland for the GCSB job, three years of living in Wellington has been enough for Fletcher and his family, given that the pending review of the GCSB would have required an even longer commitment from him. Three years of Wellington’s weather is enough for anyone... More>>

ALSO:

Ian Apperley: $10m Or $100m For New Wellington Council IT System?

I feel a Tui Billboard coming on. I commented the other day that it looked like the Council’s Ninth big project was a potential $100 million plus... The Mayor has responded: “I am reassured by the Chief Executive and by Anthony Wilson that the proposed budget is in the region of $10 million.” More>>

ALSO:

Southern Ocean:
Navy Intercepts Illegal Fishing Vessels

Foreign Minister Murray McCully today put illegal fishing vessels operating in the Southern Ocean on notice and vowed to take action against their owners. “As part of a multi-agency operation, the HMNZS WELLINGTON has intercepted two vessels claiming to be flagged to Equatorial Guinea, fishing illegally in the Southern Ocean.” Mr McCully says. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Parliament
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news