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Agency Cautiously Welcomes Don Brash’s Comments

Media Release
21 March 2005

Social Services Agency Cautiously Welcomes Don Brash’s Comments

Christchurch based Family Help Trust has today welcomed Dr Don Brash’s call “to get at-risk children off what’s been called the conveyor belt to crime early”.

Clinical Services Manager, Bill Pringle, says it’s the early part of “early intervention” that’s the key.

“Early intervention is nothing new. Giving parents important knowledge and good parenting skills while children are young or even before they are born, has been shown to be the most effective way to deal with this problem. Ongoing generational dysfunction spawning more crime, violence and abuse is the result of intervention not happening or happening too late. Some research says after the age of 3 is too late,” says Mr Pringle.

Bill Pringle sounds a warning following Dr Brash’s speech today where the leader of opposition said “We want to have these young people before a judge sooner rather than too late.”

“In our experience, if a child is old enough to appear before a judge, then that may in fact already be too late to change this young person for the better. We need to be in the homes, working with parents long term, changing behaviour bringing up with their own children,” says Mr Pringle.

Mr Pringle says talking about intervention and dealing with the problem is nothing new but talking isn’t the answer. More money is badly needed in the area of early intervention in New Zealand.

“Words are cheap, our children’s lives are not,” he said.


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