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We Need To Stop The Deaths Of Our Children

27 July 2006

We Need To Stop The Deaths Of Our Children

The Government needs to provide money not words if we are to stop the deaths of our children, family violence experts say.

Under resourcing, poor consultation and delays have forced the community sector to crisis point at a time when the devastating effects of family violence are of urgent concern to New Zealanders, agencies working with victims and perpetrators of domestic violence say.

"Current underfunding of the violence prevention sector has resulted in waiting lists, staff retention and recruitment issues and the inability to provide work force development," national manager of the National Network of Stopping Violence Services Brian Gardner said today.

The National Network endorses the New Zealand Council of Christian Social Services (NZCCSS) challenge to Government to develop a consistent, cohesive, resourced response to child protection, announced today. The experience of NZCCSS is mirrored by agencies working in domestic violence prevention.

"Current issues of under resourcing, poor consultation outcomes and delays in producing tangible results for community agencies, sees the community sector at crisis point", Mr Gardner said.

"Government, through the Ministry of Social Development, needs to identify the direction it will take, resource it, develop meaningful community partnerships and stick with it.

"We are currently funded to hang on by our fingertips and when you are doing this, there is little else you can focus on. Morale is low and for many they do not see change close at hand.

"Unless community agencies are adequately resourced and funded to provide top of the cliff services we will continue to see children and their mothers murdered.

"The expertise sits in the community – give us the resources to do what we do best."

The soon to be published report from the Taskforce for Action on Violence within Families will need to have a clear direction, build capacity and capability, focus on prevention and be adhered to, otherwise Government will be promoting a new strategy in five years time because women and children will continue to die, Mr Gardner said.


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