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Governor General in Christchurch Tomorrow

Governor General in Christchurch Tomorrow

It’s been a significant last couple of years for the Family Help Trust, the social workers and all the children and families who have been supported by the Trust’s services.

As well as the social work team having grown to six and an independent evaluation of the Trust’s service and consequent follow up delivering very encouraging results, the Family Help Trust hosts a very special guest at the official opening of their new offices in Carlyle Street tomorrow morning.

Her Excellency The Hon. Dame Silvia Cartwright, Governor General of New Zealand is a Patron of the Family Help Trust and Chairman, Sally Thompson, says she and the board were thrilled that Dame Silvia could attend on Wednesday.

“Dame Silvia spoke at the launch of one of our fundraisers in Christchurch at the end of 2003 with such passion about the tragedy of child abuse in New Zealand. She wants, like us, to make a difference and break the terrible cycle of abuse and violence in this country. We are honoured to have her with us,” she says.

Also attending tomorrow is Christchurch Mayor Garry Moore, who will introduce Dame Silvia to invited guests.

All media are invited to attend.

Venue: Family Help Trust, 1st Floor, 154 Carlyle Street, Sydenham

Time: 10.40am – 12.30pm

Date: Weds 30 March 2005

Please contact Ali Jones on 027 247 3112 for further information. Also attached is the most recent media release from the Family Help Trust www.familyhelptrust.org.nz Full format of procedings available upon request. Dame Silvia speaks 11.30-11.40am. Refreshments served at 11.45 until 12.30.

Below is the most recent release for your information:

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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