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SAFVPN Challenges the Stigma of Abuse

Safer Aotearoa Family Violence Prevention Network

Te Aral Hou Ata Mahi O Aotearoa

SAFVPN Challenges the Stigma of Abuse

This week, the Minister for Social Development released the Modernising Child Youth and Family

Interim Report of the Expert Panel.

A summary of the lengthy report highlighted important factors for Practitioners directly involved in the care and protection of vulnerable children.

Among the concerns raised in the Interim report were the stigma placed on whanau who have children in care.

SAFVPN recognises that stigmatising whanau and tamariki serves only to harm them further and shows that there is wider systemic change needed. The stigma also affects the mauri and hauora of vulnerable children causing lasting emotional and mental effects which are not easily erased.

Another appalling and striking aspect of the Interim Report was the overall lack of cultural competency of agencies and service providers working with whanau and tamariki.

SAFVPN Spokesperson TeRata Hikairo says “Cultural Competency is a basic fundamental of SAFVPNs practice. We are calling on service providers including Child Youth and Family to instil effective measures and practices which enhance their cultural competency”.

SAFVPN Manager Raewyn Bhana adds that “We are concerned about stigma, not only at at a Whanau but also at an Institutional level. We have identified this for many years and want to work harder to stop the stigma on whanau and tamariki in care”.

SAFVPNs recently made recommendations to the Government which also highlighted the very issues of the Interim Report.

SAFVPN will continue to work in the best interests of tamariki, making sure that tikanga was at the heart of their dealings with tamariki and their whanau.

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