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Rally an opportunity for community involvement

Media Release
20 August

Rally an opportunity for community involvement

A Cherish our Children rally to be held in Auckland tomorrow is a chance to acknowledge the role of every adult in protecting children, Child, Youth and Family’s Acting Chief Social Worker Craig Smith says.

In the year to the end of June, Child Youth and Family received more than 43,000 calls about suspected child abuse. In the same year, the Department substantiated abuse or neglect inflicted against 6,989 children and young people.

Mr Smith said New Zealanders should be very concerned about the harm being inflicted on children and young people in New Zealand.

“We have to place a high value on parenting and making sure that people who are parents are well-supported by their families, neighbours and communities.”

“If people know parents who are stressed they should be providing support themselves, connecting with family and neighbours, and liaising with primary health providers such as GPs, Plunket, public health nurses and community based organisations that offer parents support to ensure that parents do not feel isolated and that problems do not escalate. Where problems do escalate, they should make a referral to Child, Youth and Family,” Mr Smith said.

“Recent Government announcements around the establishment of Family Safety Teams, the Family Services Unit with the Ministry of Social Development and the Families Commission, along with easier access to doctors for people with young children, more significant investment in Family Start, and recent Budget announcements which will are targeted towards reducing poverty in New Zealand will go a long way towards creating a safer family environment for our most vulnerable citizens,” he said.

“While the figures are horrifying, it is important to remember that most New Zealanders love their children and care for them very well.”

The rally against child abuse, which musters at 11.30am at the corner of Queen and Customs Streets, has been organised by national charitable trust CPS Training.

Ends

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