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Christchurch Agency Applauds Announcement

Media Release 10 May 2006

Christchurch Family Support Agency Applauds Government Announcement

One of the country's leading support agencies for at risk children is welcoming today’s announcement by the Child Youth and Family Services Minister, Ruth Dyson.

Chair of the Christchurch based Family Help Trust Chair, Sally Thompson, says a financial commitment from the Government to improve effective, independently evaluated early intervention services would be very welcome.

"We are dealing with more referrals, more children in potentially life threatening situations and more families who want to change. We still have a waiting list and Government funding would go a long way to helping us continue our work in intensive, home-based early intervention," she says

Sally Thompson does note, though, that Ruth Dyson says the extra funding is in response to increasing demands on organisations which provide “crisis response” to family violence.

“I’m sure the minister would agree it is better to intervene before it gets to that stage, which is what we do,” she says.

Family Help Trust is primarily funded by the Community Trust, local business, local government and donations from individuals. Some Government funding was received late last year which enabled the Trust to continue its work.

"We work hand to mouth. We are all so committed that we do everything possible to keep the service going. The changes in our client families, the advances they make with intensive, long-term support, is inspiring. Children don't come with a book of instructions and if a parent has not had a supportive upbringing themselves, a cycle is perpetuated and dysfunction can be passed from generation to generation. We break that cycle. We are the barrier at the top of the cliff, not the ambulance at the bottom," she says.



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