Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | News Video | Crime | Employers | Housing | Immigration | Legal | Local Govt. | Maori | Welfare | Unions | Youth | Search

 


TOUGHLOVE urges more funding for Parent Support

TOUGHLOVE

For release: 23rd July 2014

POLITICIANS CHALLENGED TO HELP YOUTH AT RISK

TOUGHLOVE urges more funding for Parent Support

-----------------------------------

TOUGHLOVE has issued a challenge to all of New Zealand's political parties to state where they stand on helping parents of youth at risk.

The challenge comes just ahead of the organisation's thirtieth anniversary celebrations in Auckland on Friday 25th July (see details at end of release).

The gathering's guest speaker will be distinguished Auckland surgeon and one-time TOUGHLOVE organiser, Professor Pat Alley, who is Director Clinical Training with the Waitemata District Health Board.

"There's currently considerable awareness of unacceptable youth behaviour but very little attention paid to the impact such behaviour has on parents or to the role they should be playing in pulling young people back from the brink," says TOUGHLOVE's National Spokesperson, Peter Altmann.

"We're the only organisation in New Zealand specifically founded to help parents cope with youth at risk. During the last three decades, we've mentored and supported tens of thousands of mothers and fathers through the pain and disruption caused by their teens' behaviour.

"Although we're grateful for contracted funding from the Ministry of Social Development, there's a limit to the numbers of parents our tightly-budgeted, overwhelmingly volunteer-based organisation is able to assist without additional income.

"With the General Election just two months away, we'd like to know just what the various political parties are willing to do to help us perform our vital role in society," he says.

"It's a cause of concern that lack of resources prevents us helping every parent in need. Well-funded statutory organisations such as CYF, Police Youth Aid and schools (through their School Counsellors) recognise our expertise and send parents to us. We would really appreciate funding levels appropriate to that expertise and to the job we need to do," Mr Altmann adds.

Key to TOUGHLOVE's approach are weekly Parent Support Groups, which provide participants with both a sympathetic forum and the opportunity to learn and share effective and proven strategies for coping with youth at risk. Support groups are typically facilitated by parents who have themselves experienced such issues in their own immediate families.

Peter Altmann describes unacceptable teenage behaviour as a spectrum that can include violence, defiance, verbal abuse, bullying of siblings, truancy from school, promiscuity, drug or alcohol usage and compulsive gaming.

Also part of this spectrum are staying out all night, disappearing for days on end, trashing the family home, staying in bed all day, refusing to do homework and behaving in a disrespectful or manipulative manner.

"All these behaviours can be found across New Zealand, in every social, economic or educational quartile and across all sorts of family units, including nuclear families, single parent families, blended families and those with same-sex parents," says Mr Altmann.

"Those who can no longer reason with their teenage children typically suffer a massive loss of confidence. Shame, grief, stress, worry and embarrassment are also normally part of the mix, in ways that can impact severely on health, put a huge strain on relationships and corrode or destroy families.

"Nor is the impact always restricted to the immediate family, as grandparents, uncles, aunts, friends and neighbours can all be affected by a dysfunctional relationship between parent and teen. Moreover, there's an economic cost to New Zealand, as stressed-out parents often need to take time off work to cope with family issues.

"Contrary to a widespread misconception, the name TOUGHLOVE doesn't mean we favour a heavy-handed, authoritarian approach. We advocate clear and consistent boundaries and consequences. But we also recommend that parents back off from constant arguments. Our name reflects the realisation that parenting is always a tough job and that love is one of its essential ingredients," he adds.

According to a survey carried out between October 2011 and April 2012 by Wellington-based research company, Litmus Limited, 91 percent of parent attending TOUGHLOVE Support Groups would recommend the experience to other parents.

TOUGHLOVE is CYF-accredited, with most parents approaching it either as a result of word-of-mouth endorsement, through referrals from social agencies or though recommendations from health professionals. Support Groups participation is kept strictly confidential, with newcomers asked to make a one-off payment of just $40. A gold coin donation is expected at subsequent sessions.

TOUGHLOVE employs just four paid staff members, based respectively in Auckland, Canterbury, Waikato and the Bay of Plenty.

Further information about TOUGHLOVE is available at www.toughlove.org.nz or via the freephone number: 0800 868 445

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Transport: Auckland Looks To Light Rail

The Board of Auckland Transport has called for an investigation into a light rail network, which could relieve traffic congestion on some of the region’s busiest roads.

This stems from work in 2012 (the City Centre Future Access study) which responded to a government request to develop a robust and achievable solution for access to the CBD.

That showed that the City Rail Link, together with surface bus improvement, provided the best regional solution. However, it also identified that the city centre is already facing serious congestion across all major road entry points which, if not addressed now, will worsen. More>>

 

RMA: Smith's Claims Don't Match Evidence - Greens

The Motu group’s research into the impacts of planning rules looked at the costs related to housing development but not the benefits of environmental protections and does not recommend significant changes to the RMA to reduce the cost of new house builds. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On The Similarities Between John Key And David Cameron

For years now, David Cameron has been the closest available thing to a mentor/analogue to our Prime Minister, such that Key watchers could be interested in an analysis of Cameron that appeared in the British press over the Christmas break. More>>

Gordon Campbell: On Ian Fletcher Resignation & GCSB’s New Role

It may well be that after being shoulder-tapped in Queensland for the GCSB job, three years of living in Wellington has been enough for Fletcher and his family, given that the pending review of the GCSB would have required an even longer commitment from him. Three years of Wellington’s weather is enough for anyone... More>>

ALSO:

Ian Apperley: $10m Or $100m For New Wellington Council IT System?

I feel a Tui Billboard coming on. I commented the other day that it looked like the Council’s Ninth big project was a potential $100 million plus... The Mayor has responded: “I am reassured by the Chief Executive and by Anthony Wilson that the proposed budget is in the region of $10 million.” More>>

ALSO:

Southern Ocean:
Navy Intercepts Illegal Fishing Vessels

Foreign Minister Murray McCully today put illegal fishing vessels operating in the Southern Ocean on notice and vowed to take action against their owners. “As part of a multi-agency operation, the HMNZS WELLINGTON has intercepted two vessels claiming to be flagged to Equatorial Guinea, fishing illegally in the Southern Ocean.” Mr McCully says. More>>

ALSO:

Kiwi Pride: New Zealand Takes UN Security Council Seat

“New Zealand’s term on the Security Council will place us at the heart of international decision-making for the next two years,” Mr McCully says. More>>

Greens: CAA Airport Door Report Conflicts With Brownlee’s Claims

The heavily redacted report into the incident shows conflicting versions of events as told by Gerry Brownlee and the Christchurch airport security staff. The report disputes Brownlee’s claim that he was allowed through, and states that he instead pushed his way through. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Politics
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news