Expert team to tackle child abuse

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Social Development Minister Paula Bennett. Photo /Ron Burgin
Social Development Minister Paula Bennett. Photo /Ron Burgin

Whangarei will be the second of two centres in New Zealand to have a Vulnerable Children's Team put in place.

Teams will be made up of local education, health, and social sector professionals to respond to the needs of vulnerable children.

"Children who are at risk of abuse or neglect need professionals who bring their expertise to the table and work in a co-ordinated manner, putting the child at the centre of all decision making," said Social Development Minister Paula Bennett.

Children's Teams include a lead professional who has responsibility for keeping the plan on track and ensuring children access important services.

"We chose Whangarei for the second team because, like Rotorua, the community both needs it and is ready for it," Ms Bennett said.

Child, Youth and Family recently signed a memorandum of understanding with Te Runanga A Iwi o Ngapuhi supporting early intervention with vulnerable Ngapuhi whanau and to address the root causes of child abuse and neglect.

In the past year, there were 911 substantiated cases of abuse in Whangarei.

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