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Significant growth in training numbers

For immediate release

26 October, 2016

Child Matters’ annual report shows significant growth in training numbers

A record 5,520 people from health, education, justice and the social sector organisations have received training in child protection this year from charitable organisation, Child Matters – a significant increase in attendees of 40.3 per cent over the previous year.

Child Matters chief executive, Anthea Simcock says the training figures are extremely encouraging, as it is essential that as many people as possible have an introductory knowledge of child abuse, so they have the confidence to intervene.

However, Mrs Simcock says attendees on the core five-day Child Protection Studies Programme, which develops crucial child protection champions, has not kept pace with this overall growth.

“This is partly due to a slight overall drop in participation rates, but more importantly, to fewer courses held because of funding challenges. Securing additional support to maintain these courses is a significant priority for Child Matters in the coming year.”

Child Matters’ annual report, released at the organisation’s AGM yesterday, indicates an increasing interest in training from a number of different areas, but particularly in the education sector, from both teachers and governance boards.

“Having a good understanding of roles and responsibilities, alongside recognising signs of abuse and how to respond effectively, are all important elements in creating environments for children to flourish,” says Mrs Simcock.

Child Matters chair, Neil Richardson says in the 22 years since the creation of Child Matters, society has made enormous advances in child protection thinking and awareness.

“The New Zealand public has made a profound shift in its acceptance of the issue of child abuse; the media is more ready to write about the subject, and communities throughout the country have responded passionately to the tragic cases of children who gave been killed through maltreatment.

“However, to remain a viable enterprise, Child Matters must continue to ensure its relevance to the outcomes sought by government and its delivery ministries.

“There are significant changes in the government sector and Child Matters is actively reviewing its strategy, services and competencies to ensure that it will continue to meet the goals of the recently enacted Vulnerable Children Act (2014), the new Ministry of Vulnerable Children – Oranga Tamariki, and other government departments.

“Child Matters will continue to develop as a world class provider of facilitation, training and consultation services, while actively participating in the development of our communities understanding and commitment to child protection.

“Our vision of ‘Inspiring New Zealanders to make sure that every child flourishes in an environment safe from all abuse’ continues as the driving force for all our activities.”

Financial matters outlined in the annual report show that Child Matters has maintained consistent growth over the past four years. Almost half of Child Matters’ income has come from contracts to deliver training and advisory services, while student fees account for one fifth. Traditional sources of grants and sponsorship has decreased, resulting in funding challenges for the core five-day Child Protection Studies Programme.

The Child Matters’ annual report can be found here.


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