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Minister To Launch First Response Pilot With Shine


Minister To Launch First Response Pilot With Shine

3 December 2009, AUCKLAND: Today, Paula Bennett, Minister of Social Development and Employment announced the launch of the First Response pilot. NZ Police, Child, Youth and Family and Shine* (Safer Homes in New Zealand), the country’s largest domestic violence agency, will pilot the initiative.

The First Response pilot will respond to family violence incidents where vulnerable children are present. The new scheme will ensure follow up on families with children under-2 years.

It is widely known that New Zealand has very high rates of family violence and child abuse – two social problems which are inextricably linked. The overlap between partner abuse and child abuse has been found to be as much as 65% where one form of abuse is present there is a high probability the other is also prevalent.

Child, Youth and Family receive over 50,000 reports of concern from Police every year about family violence.   Many of the incidents are at a low level and do not require Child, Youth and Family’s involvement.   However we know some of these are precursors to child abuse events, so the first-response trial will see shine* provide a crisis service for families who have had Police attend family violence call-outs. 

Executive Director of shine* Jane Drumm, says “this pilot project deepens the pre-existing strong relationships between the NZ Police, Child, Youth and Family and shine*.  We are really delighted to be part of this project which we think will provide an efficient and effective crisis response to families with young children who have come to the attention of the Police as a result of a family violence incident.”

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The First Response service will involve a shine* advocate visiting the family as quickly as possible after Police attend an incident and assisting the adult victim to develop a safety plan for themselves and children.

It is not always necessary to involve Child, Youth and Family in order to assist families affected by family violence, often a low key response to an initial incident from a community agency such as shine* can remove further risk. However, some families may need further support from Child, Youth and Family.

 Jane Drumm advises that “we know the seriousness and frequency of family violence offending escalates over time and so it is vital that proactive support is offered as early as possible.

 “It is important to recognise that even when children are not being directly physically abused, they are being seriously emotionally and psychologically damaged by their experiences of family violence in their home.  The impact of this lasts a lifetime,” concludes Jane Drumm.

The Auckland City trial will include the suburbs of Panmure, Onehunga and Grey Lynn. It's anticipated that over 500 children will be supported through the pilot.


Shine* Client Services Director, Jill Proudfoot, says “With the First Response pilot, vulnerable children will get the right service at the right time, when the child is most in need.”



 shine* provides:

ü       Free National Helpline to assist callers with a range of professional support services including risk assessment, safety planning, information, advocacy and referrals

ü       24 Hour professional crisis and advocacy support for child and adult victims of domestic violence

ü       Refuge accommodation on the North Shore, Auckland

ü       Child Crisis Team - for children distressed by witnessing violence in their homes who are often also at risk of being assaulted themselves

ü       No Excuses - a stopping violence programme to help educate men who use abusive and violent behaviour

ü       Local inter-agency network coordination to ensure our services work together to keep people safe

ü       Safe @ Home programme - to secure the homes of victims with replacement solid wood doors, window locks, security lighting and silent, personal alarm systems

ü       Domestic violence awareness and professional training programmes -  for volunteers, tertiary students, professionals (i.e. police, social workers, health professionals, teachers etc) and community groups

ü       Workplace Trust & Support – programme that shows how to positively address bullying and domestic violence in the workplace


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