Tairāwhiti Children’s Team launches

Issue: Volume 94, Number 18

Posted: 12 October 2015
Reference #: 1H9cuq

Vulnerable children in Gisborne/Tairāwhiti will be eligible for referral to the region’s new children’s team, which started operation last week.

The team is part of a national rollout under the Children’s Action Plan and caters to vulnerable children in the Tairāwhiti District Health Board area from the East Cape in the north to the Wharerata ranges in the south.

Children’s Teams are established in Rotorua, Whangarei, Horowhenua/Otaki, Marlborough and Hamilton, and will also be coming to Eastern Bay of Plenty, Christchurch, Whanganui, and Clendon/Manurewa/Papakura.

It’s estimated that in Tairāwhiti about 430 children who don’t quite reach the threshold for statutory care, but who have multiple unmet needs, will be eligible.

The Ministry of Education is supporting the Children’s Teams, which stem from changes announced in the Vulnerable Children Act 2014. The teams introduce a different way of working for the agencies and organisations committed to early identification and preventative action with vulnerable children and their families/whānau.

The teams provide the opportunity for government agencies, iwi and non-government organisations to bring together their existing services for vulnerable children into one personalised plan for each child and their family/whānau. This reduces duplication and allows professionals and practitioners to focus on delivering the right services.

Once a referral has been approved, the teams match a lead professional to each child who will do an assessment and develop one plan of action for that child that encompasses all services. The lead professional regularly reports on progress, and the team continues to monitor and review progress against the plan until the child’s needs have been met.

Lead professionals can come from a range of agencies or services and are chosen for their ability to best support that child and family. Over time, the goal is to see unmet needs addressed earlier, family resilience building and fewer families ‘churning’ between agencies.

The Tairāwhiti team will use a referral form to consider potentially eligible children. The Ministry of Education will be talking soon to schools and early childhood education centres in the Tairāwhiti’s team’s region about this in more detail, and about what the team can offer local vulnerable children.

BY Education Gazette editors
Education Gazette | Tukutuku Kōrero, reporter@edgazette.govt.nz

Posted: 3:19 pm, 12 October 2015

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