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Stocktake of Prevention, Education and Frontline responses to Child Abuse in Waitakere (2009)
 

Stocktake of Prevention, Education and Frontline responses to Child Abuse in Waitakere (2009)

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This stocktake report was commissioned by the Every Day Communities unit of Child Youth and Family and the Waitakere Anti-Violence Essential Services. The report identifies trends, issues and gaps in ...

This stocktake report was commissioned by the Every Day Communities unit of Child Youth and Family and the Waitakere Anti-Violence Essential Services. The report identifies trends, issues and gaps in child abuse prevention and response services across the Waitakere area., and makes recommendations for improvemen

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    Stocktake of Prevention, Education and Frontline responses to Child Abuse in Waitakere (2009) Stocktake of Prevention, Education and Frontline responses to Child Abuse in Waitakere (2009) Document Transcript

    • STOCKTAKE OF PREVENTION, EDUCATION AND FRONTLINE RESPONSES TO CHILD ABUSE IN WAITAKERE ISSUES, GAPS AND TRENDSConducted for Everyday Communities and Waitakere Anti Violence Essential Servicesnetwork (WAVES)March 2009Dr. Chris HollandWERDSwww.werds.co.nz
    • Table of ContentsAcknowledgements ................................................................................................................ 3Executive Summary…………………………………………………………………………………..4Full Report ........................................................................................................................... 10Introduction .......................................................................................................................... 10Findings Part One: What‟s happening nationally? ................................................................ 13Introduction .......................................................................................................................... 13Current Status of Government and NGO initiatives .............................................................. 15Findings Part Two: Whats happing in Waitakere?..............................................................19Early childhood support (0-4 years)...................................................................................... 30The primary school years (5-12 years) ................................................................................. 34Community Development and neighbourhood strengthening…………………………………. 39Summary and conclusions………………….………………………………………………………42Recommendations for in 2009………..…….………………………………………………………44References……………………………………......………………………………………………….46 2
    • AcknowledgementsI wish to acknowledge, all the government, health, community members and communityorganisation managers and their staff, and the children who so willingly participated in thisStocktake. They gave considered and helpful information and comments in relation to theissues, trends and practices highlighted by the literature and experienced on the ground.I have been fortunate to have the opportunity of working with a great team. Thanks to SueLytollis EDC for her oversight of the project and to WAVES for their hard work in helping toget focus groups up and running. I am indebted to the stocktake management group, KaletiMoala-Mafi, Tiaria Fletcher, Dr. Peter O‟Connor and Dr. Geoff Bridgman for their helpfulcomments.Special appreciation and thanks go to Bob Newson of the Families Commission, for verygenerously guiding and sponsoring of the Maori research, which involved so much of histime. The experience of working with Bob has definitely been a highlight of this project forme. I am grateful also to Cheryl Talamaivao for her supporting work with the Pacific focusgroup. 3
    • Executive SummaryThis summary outlines trends, issues, gaps and recommended actions for EDC‟s activity inWaitakere 2009. The recommendations are drawn from data and analysis presented in thefull report following the summary.Explanation – Why this Stocktake?As an evolution of Everyday Communities in Waitakere, it was decided at an EDC Evaluationmeeting in 2008 to move away from the previous pattern of buying media space to advertisefamily violence, child abuse prevention information and supporting local events andresources.The idea instead, was to find out, from a literature review and key stakeholder interviews, „What programme or action could make a significant difference for the children in our community affected by abuse, violence or neglect.‟The secondary questions this research was to answer were:  What specific actions or programmes do you or your agency offer for children affected by abuse, violence or neglect?  „Where do you think there are gaps in Waitakere in changing the way society thinks or works around children exposed to or at risk of abuse, violence or neglect.‟  Do you have an idea or concept that you think could make a practical and real difference for children affected by abuse, violence or neglect; or to prevent children being exposed to abuse, violence or neglect.EDC also wanted the Stocktake to provide information on three primary strategy areas: earlychildhood support (0-4) school support (5-12) and community support. To also discusssupport services in each of these areas, whether government, large community NGO, or asmall „grassroots‟ organisation and to explore trends, issues and gaps in general, includingco-ordination, collaboration and professional capability in terms of early years (home), schoolyears and community support.In its previous work in other communities and over the last two years in Waitakere, the EDCprimary prevention strategy has been to support events and radio and print media advertisingcampaigns, create resources, and fill educational gaps and network amongst NGO andgovernment organisations. Apart from the education through drama programme EverydayTheatre that accompanies EDC in communities, most of the project‟s activities have beenaimed at awareness raising in the community around the prevention of child abuse andneglect, and, to a much lesser degree, professional development support.In the following pages of this report, a number of positive trends, but also some issues andgaps, are indicated with recommendations. Some issues and gaps are already beingaddressed in future government and NGO planning and in current initiatives. EDC can makea contribution to some initiatives, but others are beyond its scope. 4
    • Trends in the management of Child Abuse and Neglect reductionGeneral  Established NGOs and government favour a multi-agency approach.  There is good networking and some interlocking of services.  A few Waitakere services are collaborating well, interacting on a daily basis.  Some services are contemplating funded joint ventures.  New Settler organisations are becoming more visible working to forge links.  Professional development is available for nurses, teachers, and community workers.Early Childhood  Services are collaborative, complementary, with generally good referral systems.  Effective promotion (if overloaded, less deliberate promotion).  Staff involved have formal qualifications and lengthy experience.  Programmes are well designed, meet needs and are well received.  Sliding scales of payment assist those on benefits.  Range includes separated parents and parents where children had been removed.  Grandparents Raising Grandchildren (informal).  Home visiting projects (e.g. Family Start and Parents as First Teachers).  Some organisations offer a combination of parenting / childcare services.School  There are a range of school programmes offered in Waitakere.  Programmes are directed at children (rather than at their parents).  Programmes reflect the paramountcy principle (The CY&F Act 1989)  Programmes are linked to EDC.  Programmes are professionally developed and delivered.  There is good coverage of Waitakere schools by some programmes.  Programmes are well received and complement each other.Community  Events bring families together for entertainment, information and awareness.  Events provide a good opportunity for organisations to promote their services.  Community Development programmes like Twin Streams, Massey Matters and the Ranui Action Project build community resourcefulness.  Promotion of family violence issues – It‟s Not OK, radio, TV – builds awareness.  Training for official home callers taking place to enable identification of child abuse.Issues and gaps in the management of child abuse and neglect reductionGeneral  The needs to be a central point of contact and an up-to-date directory of all services.  There are few services that are outside the immediate Henderson area.  Poor collaboration in some instances, such as among child advocates.  Less collaboration between large and small NGOs.  Less collaboration between Maori, Pacific and Pakeha led organisations.  Referrals across ethnic services are not high.  Competition among smaller NGOs for short-term funding - funding rolled over for larger NGOs.  Professional development (PD) uneven, uncoordinated in government and NGOs.  Lack of experience in NGOS resulting from a high turnover in the field.  Training opportunities for more highly skilled and qualified professionals is difficult. 5
    •  Need people with interviewing and assessment skills for the 0-4 age group.  Smaller NGOs struggle to find funding to support professional development.  Lack of provider awareness of the range of other services.  Lack of community awareness of the range of services.Early Childhood  In regard to home visiting projects, there are some areas of possible duplication.  Limited collaboration between home visiting services.  Some parents are reluctant to engage with services e.g. where CYF are involved.  Few properly trained community workers to support very young children.  Insufficient engagement in early education.  Social Workers in Schools and school counsellors very effective.Schools  Need for higher level promotion and co-ordination of programmes across the city.  Need for higher level promotion and co-ordination within each school.  To reach new cohorts of students - programmes could be rolled out annually.  Need for more counsellors appointed to schools.  Need contact information provided to children.Community  Community projects do not provide information to community members on what do if they witness or suspect abuse.  An identified “Community” in a city the size of Waitakere can be large and potentially unmanageable.Recommended EDC Interventions in 2009So far, the EDC project has been very effective in supporting media campaigns and events,and in enabling networking forums that facilitate the exchange of information between serviceproviders. Some of the issues are largely a factor of the sheer size of Waitakere. It may bethat a community or neighbourhood-wide rather than a city-wide approach would establish avisible model for future interventions in urban areas of this size. The following is a summaryof suggestions arising from the research, most of which are resource-development focused.Some might be concentrated in a small community to maximise effect, while others are citywide.General:The main areas identified for development are co-ordination, collaboration and professionaldevelopment (PD). Co-ordination and collaboration between local health, education andcommunity initiatives is likely to improve with the recent appointment of a new WAVES co-ordinator. Below are the recommendations that have come from the stocktake. It isacknowledged that not all of these recommendations will fit the broad criteria for use of EDCfunding, however, the EDC Working Party wanted all relevant issues included so that thisdocument might be able to be utilised by appropriate groups to justify support for theseprogrammes from other government agencies or funding bodies.The following are general recommendations for action. Finally, the priority table indicatesthose activities which are most supported by the research. 6
    • Professional Development  Providing collaborative tendering funding application workshops.  Establishing criteria for good collaboration, reviewing the ability of smaller organisations to meet those criteria and recognising organisations that do.  Re-instating scholarships for community workers to complete formal professional development.  Funding the establishment of mentors and supervisors for community workers.  Producing a hard copy and web-based calendar of professional development opportunities across a range of organisations.  Creating a phone and website “consult-line” (linked by mobile/email/text message to a child advocate or similar) where teachers, nurses, doctors and community workers could ask on-the-spot questions.  Cross-posting data to the “consult line” internet site and the WAVES website.  Funding language specific mainstream media messages.Early Childhood:EDC resources could support existing parent training and home visiting programmes viainformation to parents about local support and alternatives to smacking.  Creating a web-map of early childhood service provision, parent education and early childhood education programmes.  Creating a hard copy directory of early childhood services including parenting courses, home visiting and early childhood education (ECE) with attached information about the repeal of section 59 and helpful hints like “21 practical alternatives to smacking” to be given away at hospitals, clinics, and by home visitors.School:Demonstrating the paramountcy of children means showing respect for children and youngpeople, listening to them, and informing them about next steps. This might include:  Producing accessible hard copy wallet cards for students, explaining steps in dealing with abuse and information about what agencies they can contact for help.  Producing a hard copy clear language leaflet / poster that explains the repeal of section 59 and what that means in terms of protection and support (similar to the “21 alternatives to smacking).  Establishing a child-help website providing the information above and discussion/ Frequently Asked Question areas.  Rewarding young person groups (e.g. in schools) that have developed an effective support strategy for children in the school or neighbourhood.  Producing an information booklet for teachers/people working with children re age appropriate child abuse prevention education opportunities available in Waitakere. Include a contact list and planning calendar.  Producing an information leaflet for teachers on handling disclosures, listening and supporting children who seek their help, confidentiality, referral steps and likely outcomes.  Media promotion of schools (e.g. in local newspapers, TV) that have an ongoing child abuse prevention / education strategy. 7
    • Community:It may be that projects like Massey Matters, Twin Streams and the Ranui Action Project, orothers like them, can increase their focus on encouraging more watchful and activeneighbourhoods, in order to reduce „bystander apathy‟. Possibilities include:  Supporting small neighbourhood-based meeting / education opportunities that include extended family and neighbours.  Creating a large poster map (A1) of service provision with contact number leaflets, for local libraries, community centres, clubs, bus stops, pubs. 8
    • Priorities for Action Professional Development Collaboration Co-ordinationEarly Produce an information Create a hard copy directory of earlychildhood booklet for teachers/people childhood services including parenting working with children on age courses, home visiting and early appropriate child abuse childhood education (ECE) with prevention education attached information about the repeal of opportunities available in section 59 and helpful hints like “21 Waitakere. practical alternatives to smacking.” To be given away at hospitals, clinics, and Include a contact list and by home visitors. planning calendar.School Produce an information Produce accessible hard copy wallet booklet for teachers/people cards for intermediate level students, working with intermediate explaining steps in dealing with abuse 1 level children re child abuse and information about what agencies prevention education they can contact for help opportunities available in Waitakere. Include a contact list and planning calendar Produce an information leaflet for teachers on handling disclosures, listening and supporting children who seek their help, confidentiality, referral steps and likely outcomes.Comm- Funding the establishment of Creating a Produce a hard copy and web-basedunity mentors and supervisors for phone and calendar of professional development community workers website “consult- opportunities across a range of line” (linked by organisations. mobile/email/text message to a Funding language specific mainstream child advocate media messages. or similar) where Creating a large poster map (A1) of teachers, service provision with contact number nurses, doctors leaflets for local libraries, community and community centres, clubs, bus stops, pubs. workers could ask on-the-spot questions1 In using the above table to determine future activities by EDC, it should be noted that MSDitself has prioritised the targeting of early childhood and intermediate level children. 9
    • Full ReportIntroductionEDC was developed by the Child, Youth and Family Public Awareness and Education teamin mid-2001 in response to a number of high profile child deaths. It works alongside selectedcommunities to create localised responses to the prevention of child abuse and neglect andfamily violence using social marketing and community action processes. It was piloted inWhakatane and has also been in Wairarapa, Whanganui, Northland and with Pacificcommunities of South Auckland and greater Wellington.The EDC partnership is for three years and is administered by a strategic alliance betweenthe Public Awareness and Education Team with an umbrella community organisation (e.g.Amokura in Northland and Waitakere Anti Violence Essential Services Network in Waitakere)and an EDC Working Party of community and government representatives is introduced toshape the direction of the programme of action.EDC began development in Waitakere in 2006 with the adoption of a Charter and formallylaunched on April 28, 2007. How to distribute a budget for prevention purposes is part of theCYF relationship with WAVES and the Working Party. Initial EDC activities included creatingevents, radio and print media advertising campaigns, creating resources and fillingeducational gaps and networking amongst NGO and Government organisations. EDC‟soverarching brand is „hui tahi, tupu tahi (come together, grow together)‟. In Waitakere,funding has been provided for a radio campaign on Radio Waatea, Radio Network andPacific stations, interviews on Triangle TV, public advertising screens, print media ads and arange of resources such as tee-shirts, eco bags and calendars. EDC has contributed to thecreation of two Scholarships at a Tertiary learning institute, and training for EDC WorkingParty members. It has supported and funded community events like Toddler Day Out,Tamariki Ora, Te Ra o te Mokopuna and the White Ribbon Day march.As stated earlier, rather than follow the pattern of the last two years an evaluation meeting ofthe EDC Working Party on 7th May 2008 decided to focus on what project or projects mightmake a significant difference for children affected by abuse, violence or neglect. A latermeeting determined the process for „Knowing what we don‟t know‟ Stocktake of literature andkey informant interviews which has resulted in this report.A Special Stocktake Group will determine which of the recommendations of this report will besupported for the funds set aside for the 1 July 2008 – 30 June 09 financial year as well as afinal contribution for July – December 2009.This Stocktake was undertaken to find out about what child abuse information, research,child abuse prevention services and child abuse response services are available in theWaitakere region, and to inform EDC how best to proceed during its remaining time inWaitakere in order to improve outcomes for children. Issues already identified by EDC were:  That it is difficult to have an impact on a city the size of Waitakere  That there are a disparities and gaps in Waitakere in terms of addressing child abuseKey stakeholder interviews focused on the service type provided by each organisation(primary, secondary, tertiary) and target group (parents, children, home, school, community).The semi-structured interview schedule, drawing on the literature and previous interviews,mainly covered interviewee roles, inter-organisational co-ordination, collaboration and referralnetworks, professional development, programmes, funding, issues, gaps andrecommendations. 10
    • Waitakere Anti-Violence Essential Services (WAVES) coordinates the network of FamilyViolence Services in Waitakere; provides project management; strategic planning, sourcingof funds for projects, policy advice and acts as a Clearinghouse for information sharing.WAVES co-ordinated a management group for the stocktake, and has providedadministrative and other support to the researcher. The management group met monthly forthe duration of the stocktake. Comprised of academics, managers and professional workingin the area, they included Tiaria Fletcher, Manager, WAVES; Kaleti Moala-Mafi, SeniorAdvisor Public Awareness & Education Team, CYF and Sue Lytollis Team Leader; Dr. PeterO‟Connor, Director, Applied Theatre Consultants; Dr Geoff Bridgman, Associate Head ofSchool, School of Community Development, UNITEC.Layout of the reportThrough a search of the literature and related websites, part one of the report outlines somehistorical and current issues and developments in the field in New Zealand. Part twodiscusses trends, issues, and gaps in Waitakere, with reference to voices from thecommunity. Issues around provision for different ages groups (0-4; 5-12) are discussed, aswell as those effecting different ethnicities.Research processAs Silverman (1997) and Fine & Sandstrom (1988) note, the social distance created bystudying groups with whom we do not share membership (i.e. age, gender, class, ethnicity)can create mistrust, misunderstanding or resistance on the part of the research participant.Waitakere has an ethnically mixed population. Mainly Pakeha (59%), the region is also hometo a high percentage of Maori (13%) and Pacific peoples (15%). A significant number ofpeople from Asian (16%) African and Eastern European peoples also live in the city (2006census results for Waitakere, http://www.waitakere.govt.nz/abtcit/ps/2006census.asp). Withthis in mind, the research was concerned to observe culturally appropriate practices.In terms of research with Maori participants, it drew on the work of Linda Tuhiwai Smith(1999), who is one of the foremost leaders and designers of Kaupapa Maori research. InDecolonising Methodologies, Smith emphasises that what is important is not the ethnicity ofthe researcher, but how the research is conducted. One of the models she suggests forPakeha researchers is a tiaki or mentoring model, where authoritative Maori people guideand sponsor the research. We were fortunate that Bob Newson, a respected Kaumatua whohas worked with the Human Rights Commission, the Families Commission and numerousother community-service organisations, agreed to support the research. The model was alsoused with the Pacific Island focus group, with EDC representative Kaleti Moana-Mafi assupport person.Data gathering and informed consentThe literature was sourced from a search of the internet, material held by members of theresearch management team, a search of public and university library catalogues and materialsupplied by EDC and respondents. Most of the literature comes from New Zealand, withsome focusing on Waitakere. The literature included government agency, public serviceprovider and community reports, website information, and academic analysis.The research sought a Waitakere-wide response. Data was gathered from four focus groupsand 22 key informants. The research objectives were explained to all respondents. Inaddition, they were shown written information about the research (appendix A). Consent wasgained through a written form (appendix B) which explained that respondents would not beidentified in the report and that withdrawal from the research could take place at any time 11
    • during the research. All focus groups and key informant interviews were digitally recorded,coded and transcribed. All information was provided in good faith to assist the EDC workingparty‟s decision making, to provide a document which could be used by the wider communityfor further developmental purposes and should not be used for any other purpose.Drever (1995) notes that dialogue with participants about the interpretations andexplanations emerging from the research should be an integral part of any action research.Semi-structured interview schedules were based on literature and web-site searches, andlater on issues emerging from early interviews. Participants were provided with anopportunity to reflect on the research and on each other‟s comments.AnalysisA pattern analysis (Altrichter 1993) was undertaken with the literature and emerging empiricaldata, which enabled the research project to reach a deeper understanding of issues, trendsand gaps. Key themes were established and verified by later readings and interviews. Thesethemes are discussed in the summary sections of Part One and Two 12
    • Findings Part One: What‟s happening nationally?IntroductionChild abuse is the physical, emotional / psychological or sexual harm caused to a child oryoung person. Harm includes ill-treatment, abuse, neglect or deprivation. Physical abuseinvolves a deliberately inflicted injury (e.g. bruises, cuts, fractures, burns). Emotional /psychological abuse is “…any act or omission that results in impaired psychological, social,intellectual and / or emotional functioning and development” (OCC / UNICEF, 2004:20) (e.g.rejection, isolation, deprivation of affection, criticism, threats, exposure to family violence,corruption). Sexual abuse is the sexual exploitation of a child e.g. voyeurism, inappropriatetouching, sex, pornographic activity. (OCC / UNICEF, 2004). The MSD review of research onPreventing Physical and Psychological Maltreatment of Children in Families states: While psychological abuse of children can occur without physical abuse, physical abuse is almost always accompanied by psychological abuse. There are some common harmful and far- reaching consequences associated with both psychological and physical abuse of children such as learning impairments, mental health and social relationship difficulties. There are also a set of distinct consequences that can follow from each type of abuse. Psychological abuse increases the risk of emotional damage, for example to self esteem, while physical abuse is more strongly associated with externalising behaviours and aggression. (MSD, 2008: 4)New Zealand has high rates of child abuse and child deaths (Williamson and Drumm, 2005),and in 2003 had one of the highest child-death rates in the OECD (UNICEF, 2003). In 2000and 2001 eighteen children were victims of homicide. In 2003 116 were hospitalised as aresult of assault (Fanslow, 2005:15). New Zealand has 1.2 deaths per 100,000 children. TheOECD median is .6 deaths per 100,000 children (UNICEF, 2003). Mark Loper, head of theRotorua CIB, comments that there are many children like Nia Glassie who do not die, butwhose injuries may be as horrific (NZ Herald, November 22 2008). Risk factors for childabuse include partner violence, adult with history of child or animal abuse, adult child-abusesurvivor, drug or alcohol abuse, mental illness, harsh attitudes to discipline, unrealisticexpectation of children, use of physical punishment, very young parents, social isolation,mobility of residence, child disabled or chronically ill, severe economic disadvantage (OCC /UNICEF, 2004:23). Children with multiple adverse experiences face the highest risk of lateradverse outcomes to their physical and social wellbeing (Fergusson and Horwood, 2001,cited in Fanslow 2005).Quoting the World Health Organisation / ISPCAN publication of 2006, the MSD review ofresearch claims that “…social and cultural norms that support violence and physicalpunishment of children and that diminish the status of the child in parent-child relationshipshave a part to play in contributing to child maltreatment (WHO/ISPCAN, 2006, cited in MSD,2008:3). They add that while physical punishment does not automatically lead to abuse,abuse tends to co-occur with disciplinary action. In addition, child abuse is more prevalentamong certain age groups. The 2008 MSD review of research states that: 13
    • While children of all ages can experience physical and psychological abuse, babies, toddlersand adolescents from the age of 11 years old are at a higher risk of being injuring fromphysical abuse than primary school-aged children. (MSD, 2008:4)This seems to suggest that EDC support for services should be targeted at pre-schoolers andintermediate school aged children. Indeed, may programmes supported by EDC do focus onthe parents of very young children and on programmes for children in middle primary andintermediate level schooling.The MSD research review (2008) claims that “…the prevalence of child maltreatment ishigher in deprived families and communities than in well-resourced families and communities(MSD, 2008:4). Along similar lines, Fanslow‟s research suggests that child abuse is moreprevalent in populations where poverty, low levels of education and unstable familyenvironments exist. The United Nations Secretary General‟s Study of Violence againstChildren points out that Maori children are known to be significantly over-represented inpoverty statistics and twice as likely to be assessed as abused or neglected. (UN, 2006, citedin Langford, 2006). It can be too easy to draw quick conclusions about the links betweenpoverty and abuse. Fanslow emphasises that the conditions themselves are not predictors ofabuse (Fanslow, 2005), as child maltreatment2 pervades all socio-economic groups andethnicities. For example, although Maori and Pacific people tend to have comparatively lowlevels of education and health, and high levels of poverty within particular populations, theLabour Minister for Maori Affairs points out, ninety-nine percent of Maori families love, nurtureand cherish their children. He acknowledges, however that there is a risk for some strugglingfamilies that must be heeded: …there are a small proportion of our families which carry out horrific abuse and there‟s no excuse for that. Poverty, coupled with the impact of social dislocation and a lack of self-worth on behalf of parents contributes to this terrible tolerance of abuse. But we can‟t allow this to continue. (Launch of Ngati Kahungunu Iwi Violence Project, 23 August 2008)2 The general term ‘maltreatment’ is now used in the literature to cover the range of adult behaviours that cancause psychological and physical injury to children. Child maltreatment covers physical, psychological and sexualabuse, and neglect (MSD, 2008:4) 14
    • Current Status of Government and NGO InitiativesChild abuse / maltreatment in New Zealand are generally addressed within a family violenceframework (although this is changing). The thrust of current government promotions of theissue, is that bystander apathy cannot continue - family violence / child abuse is theresponsibility of both the perpetrators and witnesses: …as New Zealanders, we have a collective responsibility to end family violence in our country…Those who commit violence should not be protected by friends, family, or neighbours. That is not loyalty. It is harbouring criminality…We also need to challenge those in our families and communities who are violent towards their family members to seek help; to recognise that it is OK to admit that what they are doing is wrong; to recognise that it is hurting their family, their community and themselves; and to recognise that it is possible to make the change to non-violence (Helen Clarke, Launch of Campaign for Action on Family Violence, 4 Sept. 2007)Key national agencies in child abuse preventionA joined-up government agency approach, led by the Ministry of Social Development (MSD)includes the Families Commission (FC), the Accident Compensation Commission, (ACC) theMinistry of Health (MOH) The Peace Foundation and the New Zealand Police (NZP). In 2002,the government launched the “Agenda for Children” which was a commitment to making lifebetter for children by reducing family violence. It developed a national framework for familyviolence prevention, Te Rito, in 2004.The Ministry of Social Development established the government Taskforce for Action onViolence within Families in June 2005, to advise the Family Violence Ministerial Team onhow to make improvements to the way family violence is addressed. The taskforce includesMaori and Pacific reference groups. At the August 2008 taskforce meeting, it agreed to makechild maltreatment prevention a strategic priority for 2008 – 2011. It agreed the scope (childabuse and neglect), the focus (prevention) and the priorities for its actions. It also agreedwork with communities to strengthen their preventive responses to child maltreatment. Workis now focussed on getting projects up and running.The Families Commission launched the Campaign for Action on Family Violence inSeptember 2007, with the It‟s Not OK media campaign. The campaign raises awareness ofchild abuse in the whole community and thereby has a potential effect not only onperpetrators but also on bystanders. Indeed, surveys have shown that the campaign has hadsome impact on people‟s consciousness and actions. According to the Taskforce for Actionon Violence within Families Ongoing Programme of Action: Monitoring Report September2008, the Are you OK? 0800 telephone line continues to provide information and support toover 600 callers per month. New resources will be developed in the next phase of thecampaign that focuses specifically on child maltreatment. There has been some criticismvoiced about the campaign. One criticism of the campaign is that Pacific celebrities used inthe promotions are considered questionable role models for non-violence within theircommunities. The same criticism was levelled at Robyn Malcolm, playing Cheryl West inOutrageous Fortune, who had slapped her on-screen daughter. A Maori respondentcommented that the It‟s Not OK campaign has no Maori women. She pointed out thedilemma that although women should be shown, they don‟t want to be seen as just victimseither. A third criticism is that children are “left out of the conversation”: 15
    • Other inter-agency initiatives include Strengthening Families (coordinated support for familieswith children who are working with two or more government or community agencies), andChild Advocates (established by MSD and located in a range of community organisations).The MSD‟s Child Youth and Family (CYF) agency is committed to the paramountcy ofchildren as defined in the Children‟s Act, 1989. Taking a facilitative, non-mandatory,differential response orientation to the prevention of child abuse, the MSD states that it iskeen to work with communities and community NGOs already working in the area. Many of the notifications that come to us turn out to be families that don‟t need our involvement but would benefit from community-based support and services. Differential response helps us link families with social services earlier and in a more structured way. By connecting families to services that will help them resolve issues earlier, we hope to prevent more serious problems occurring down the track. (www.cyf.govt.nz)Despite this approach, community workers report that CYF still struggles to win the support ofthe community. One respondent points out that this is not necessarily CYF‟s fault, as peopleare aware of the consequences and therefore the “huge decision, responsibility” of alertingthe agency. The agency is working hard to gain the trust of the community: People have zero concept of [CYF] as a support agency. I say to them that we are here to support you, work with you.More positive engagement with the community over the last few years has resulted from theestablishment of funding streams such as the Strategies with Kids – Information for Parents(SKIP) initiative, which supports programmes aimed at developing positive parenting skills.Finance for this and other like initiatives is facilitated through a Local Initiatives Fund (LIF)which supports collaborative and innovative ways of promoting positive parenting to parentsand caregivers of birth to five year olds. In addition, the CYF established “EverydayCommunities” (EDC) project works alongside Maori, Pacific and mainstream organisations,local councils, hospitals, schools, established national NGOs and local service providers (allof which may have their own child abuse prevention strategies).Primary Secondary and Tertiary responsesService providers can engage with either primary, secondary and tertiary preventionstrategies, or a mix of all. The on-line mental health service athealth.com makes the followingdistinctions between the three types of service provision: Primary prevention activities are directed at the general population with the goal of stopping the occurrence of maltreatment before it starts. Secondary prevention activities target families at high risk of maltreatment to alleviate conditions associated with the problem. Tertiary prevention directs services to families where maltreatment has occurred to reduce the negative consequences of the maltreatment and to prevent its recurrence. (www.athealth.com/Consumer/issues/AbusePrev )Primary strategies can be long (e.g. educational resource development) or short term (e.g.media campaigns). Secondary strategies might include monitoring and support of families byNGOS, where the family is referred to a local Strengthening Families co-ordinator who keepsthe family safe and connected with those who are best placed to support them. Tertiarystrategies involve CYF, police and the courts, and may include the removal of children from 16
    • abusive environments. Both public and community organisations engage in primary,secondary and tertiary strategies within a range of sites, including hospitals, homes, earlychildhood centres, primary, intermediate and high schools, churches and community houses.In terms of secondary and tertiary categories of abuse, it is CYF, the NZ Police, andcommunity organisations who shoulder most of the work.Awareness raisingAnother approach to education and prevention is through the media public awarenesscampaigns. Fanslow reports that in the Netherlands, a campaign including a televiseddocumentary, short films, commercials, a radio programme and printed materials resulted inincreased levels of disclosure but that the effect on rates of child abuse had not beenestablished (Fanslow, 2005). Public awareness campaigns in New Zealand began in the mid-late 1990s with the Breaking the Cycle campaign and a sideline campaign “alternatives tosmacking” have included various anti-smacking messages, and, more recently, the “It‟s notOK” programme.Health professionals and child abuse awareness trainingIt is not only community NGO‟s who need specialised training. Essential to good publicservice provision, is the training and education of health care professionals (Fanslow 2002;2007). Hospital staff is often inadequately equipped to deal with the secondary and tertiarychild abuse situations they encounter. Dr. Patrick Kelly is consultant Paediatrician at StarshipChildrens Hospital, and Clinical Director of Te Puaruruhau (Australasias first interagencychild advocacy centre). He believes that CYF and Police services need more help to stopchild abuse, and that not enough is being done to train hospital staff to recognise and act onsuspected cases (NZ Herald, 22 November, 2008). Hospital staff: ...don‟t understand some of the other „below the threshold‟ things, they are quite hard and we don‟t even know who to access in the community to help us with [understandings around child abuse].Doctors need training in what to do to protect children: Doctors deal with the [clinical issues], and the patient goes out the door, they are not switched on to asking the questions. I‟ve had one referral from a GP in two years. GPs have this fond notion of confidentiality that somehow it should never be breached. When we are talking about children we should breach confidentiality at every chance we get! If it‟s going to make a difference.The Ministry of health is aware of the issue. Fanslow comments on a recent positive trend: In New Zealand, education of health care providers as part of their core training has historically been scant or non-existent, but recent efforts by the Ministry of health have resulted in a number of training programmes for practitioners being delivered through professional colleges. (Fanslow, 2005:27) 17
    • Data and privacyFinally, social and health services lack effective co-ordination of data, which would make adifference to the timely response to cases. No-one takes responsibility for co-ordination of cases through services. Case for good old generic social workers Police have got their database. Viviana has got a state of the art database. CYF, WINZ. Hospitals have their database. None share. It‟s privacy gone mad.However, Viviana does share aspects of its database with other agencies, while at the sametime protecting certain private and sensitive information of clients. Others are looking at howinformation can be shared appropriately for the ultimate good of the children of Waitakere.There have been efforts made towards shared information: We had all these services - hospitals, ambulance, and police, all with their own database. So we got the university interested in looking at how we could share. We found that if we compared, the places [tertiary services] were all going to was in the same street. If we could‟ve put that data all together. So that‟s where the template idea came from - the worst crime was happening in the known homes. I think they are doing that on the North Shore.Mayor Harvey wants to see a national register of children. In his September 2008 pressrelease, he states that this was once a practice of Plunket and Family Benefit. Mayor Harveysays legislation such as the Privacy Act is also a hindrance. It stops us sharing information and it stops us thinking clearly. We need to think carefully about whether our laws are putting individuals civil liberties ahead of the welfare of our children." (10/9/08 WCC Media release) 18
    • Part Two: What‟s happening in Waitakere?IntroductionWaitakere City is in the west of the Auckland region. It is bounded the Manukau Harbour,Rodney and North Shore districts, and to the east by Auckland City.The Great Start Waitakere report (2003) identifies a number of concerns that need to beaddressed in regard to family violence and, more specifically, child abuse in Waitakere.Several of these concerns, listed below (not in any particular order), are mirrored in thisreport:  A major attitudinal and behavioural change in regard to family violence / child abuse.  Parent education (child development and the effects of family violence on children).  Training to develop professional competence.  Funding to support violence prevention as well as protection, and more services.  A holistic response to violence against partners and children.  Better co-ordination and collaboration - addressing unhelpful „patch protection.‟  Better whanau / community recognition and reporting of child abuse (no tolerance).  Improved resources for community workers, especially Maori and Pacific.  Language appropriate resources.  Community leaders‟ support (e.g. Pacific Islands church leaders).  Alternatives to culturally embedded physical punishment regimes.Everyday CommunitiesEDC is currently offering support in Waitakere, the first metropolitan site. It has worked tosupport awareness through events, radio and print media campaigns. It has supported thecreation of resources, and to strengthen networking amongst related NGOs and governmentorganisations. And it has supported child abuse prevention education in schools, and positiveparenting initiatives. A respondent remembers EDC‟s introduction to the community, and thegradual realisation that the size of Waitakere was an issue: EDC was incredibly well received. It was noticeable that Pacific and Maori were excited. We sat in a circle, a good thirty people there at WAVES. For all of us, we didn‟t quite know where the trip wires were. In rural areas for EDC it has been a much more straightforward process… it was so hard to be visible; in a small place it was easy. In Waitakere where there are so many events and people.In terms of specific projects, as at the end of the first year (WAVES EDC progress Report,2007), EDC had assisted the Pacific Island EXPO, Waipareira Pasifika Whanau Day, theAotearoa Music Festival and the LynMall Positive Parenting Promotion. In addition, thereport states, EDC has engaged in the Raffles Youth sponsorships, assistance to the Masseycommunity and building closer relationships with UNITEC. During 2007 / 2008, EDC supportin Waitakere has included funding anti- family violence campaigns on Radio Waatea, RadioNetwork and Pacific stations, interviews on Triangle TV, public advertising screens, printmedia ads and a range of resources such as tee-shirts, eco bags and calendars. EDC hasfurther contributed to training for EDC Working Party members. It has supported and fundedcommunity awareness events like Toddler Day Out, Tamariki Ora, Te Ra o te Mokopuna andthe White Ribbon Day march. 19
    • However, for EDC, being visible in a city the size of Waitakere is difficult. Thus peopleworking in key positions in the field were still unclear about the role of EDC. They knew aboutone-off funding, but were confused about EDC‟s overall mandate. People had an expectationthat EDC would be able to “walk alongside projects” and build stronger relationships withthem. It was suggested that this would also build the visibility of the project. The EDC profilecould also be raised through columns in monthly newsletters published by WCC and others: Violence Free Waitakere has two pages…to promote family violence issues. EDC could do that same stuff around active messages….Waitakere City CouncilWaitakere City Council (WCC) has long been an advocate of community partnership andwell-being, particularly where children are concerned. It works with local organisations todevelop and strengthen innovative and inclusive strategies in the city (e.g. First Call forChildren). However, employees remark that they have had little interaction with EDC – rather,support work for community organisations and projects was proceeding in parallel.WCC engages mainly with primary strategies to address family violence / child abuse issues,supporting community and neighbourhood-building projects, and hosting networking events.As Warwick Pudney observes, at least this level of support is necessary in a city with suchhigh levels of reported child abuse. Waitakere city has been at the forefront of tertiary prevention…Waitakere City Council has been supportive of community organisations taking advantage of funding and innovative projects. However, the problems continue, with Waitakere City having one of the highest rates of violence and child abuse in the country (Pudney, 2005/2006:51)The Waitakere Community Report (2006) also notes that Waitakere City‟s family violenceoffence rate is high: it was higher than the national average in all of the nine years between1996 and 2004. Quoting the Waitakere Winter Series Forum Consultation 2005“, thecommunity report identifies family violence as a key priority for collaborative initiatives by allpartners involved in the delivery of social well-being in the city” (2006:11).The 2003 Korowai Manaaki report Great Start Waitakere, sees WCC as having a long historyof collaboration in community safety. It reports that the city was awarded “Safe Community”status by the World Health Organisation in 1999 and its first interagency plan was developedin 2000 (Te Korowai Manaaki, 2003). Since then, government and community networks andthe WCC have developed a Wellbeing collaboration project incorporating primary preventioninitiatives including Protecting our Tamariki, Massey Matters, the Ranui Action Project, andthe establishment of a social strategy for the city. Waitakere City has also set an example toother cities with the innovative Family Violence Court. However, child abuse interventionagencies in the city have grown in an ad hoc way, and this risks gaps in primary, secondaryand tertiary provision.In April 2008, a stocktake of Waitakere Family Violence services was completed for theMayoral Taskforce at the WCC by the Waitakere City Council Advocate for family-violenceprevention, Carol Everard (Everard, 2008). The report acknowledges the work of the FamilyViolence Court, which has run every Wednesday since 2001 in order to overcome delays inthe court process, thus minimising damage to families. It acknowledges that there is atpresent a high level of interest in family violence prevention, both nationally and locally.Everard cites several instances, including: 20
    •  The Multi-Ministerial Taskforce established to highlight the issue nationally.  The MSD and the Families Commission nation wide media campaign.  The Waitakere City Mayoral Task Force, supported by two working parties (1) convened by WAVES and (2) convened by Dr. Pita Sharples.  Three Waitakere City Child Advocates (Barnardos, Tu Wahine, the Pacific Project).  CYF Everyday Communities.  DHB health screening (Everard, 2008).WCC supports programmes that raise the level of Pacific and new settler collaboration anddecision making in this work. For example, in May 2008, the council hosted a FamilyViolence Forum. The New Zealand Ethnic Social Services were represented by HassanHosseini who spoke to the group about issues for migrants and refugees. Regular ReducingFamily Violence workshops have been held subsequently, and are ongoing. However,projects like the Pacific Project and the New Zealand Ethnic Social Service organisationbased in Te Atatu, still lack sufficient resources, visibility and engagement with other serviceproviders.Community Organisations - NGOsEverard comments that community organisations in the region are vital to child abuseprevention, education and response, as they are recognised as being closer to thecommunity than government services, having a greater knowledge of local culture, being ableto foster community involvement, and providing services cheaply. Mainstream “Communityorganisations” range from large, long-standing organisations such as Plunket andBarnardos, to small recently established organisations like Grandparents RaisingGrandchildren. Church-based (Presbyterian, Methodist, Salvation Army) organisationshave been successful in supporting formal programmes (Lifewise, Presbyterian socialservices, Waitakere Central Corps) for the Waitakere community. She cautions that thereare a number of services which lack a formal structure, co-ordination, databases, funding,auditing and accountability processes. Community organisations which take up the workwhen under-equipped, can leave themselves open to criticism and failure. Too high expectations and too short time frames. [The community] had never had this before, why would you expect them to be able to manage it? It‟s going into that community because that community has a number of problems identified so how come you suddenly expect them to be experts in managing funds and setting up structures?The Ministry of Health‟s Family Violence Intervention Guidelines – Child and Partner Abuse(2002) identify some of the issues for staff working in child abuse services. These includelack of comfort with the issue, lack of formal protocols, lack of time and lack of confidence inreferral agencies. As well as formal training, personal awareness building is vital (Fanslow,2002; Pudney, 2005/2006; Everard, 2008) for people who are working in this area: Family violence attracts people who are passionate about it because it‟s happened to them quite often. Then there hasn‟t been the money for supervision… …personnel could be struggling with their own issues so training might therefore be a big problem 21
    • [behaviour within and between organisations] parallel the processes that go on in [family violence], there is conflict and often quite abusive behaviour in a lot of the organisations. I‟m told that Waitakere is not atypical it happens in other parts of NZ and even in other parts of the world. In [other] services, people worked there who had recovered and had usually done a lot of work on them selves, personal development. The same journey may not be there for people who come out of violent relationshipsThese issues are widely recognised in Waitakere, and actions to address them have beensuggested such as the addition of personal awareness components in formal training, andsupervision: Unitec is thinking of changing their course, putting in personal development, personal growth, unhealed childhood issues…that really has a big impact on their way of working. …should be a required personal component, would make sense too, we are not just doing this work from our heads we are doing it with our whole hearts and our whole lives. Yes, supervision is important. [my own personal development] made me safe in the work, self awareness, teaching me skills, if you haven‟t done your own personal growth you are not going to go very far and will slip back.The main barrier to addressing comfort, protocols, time and training issues, seems to be lackof funding, with child abuse claimed by some to be a case of “Interest first, funding second”.Everard found that lack of funding, competition for funding and capacity issues, also impactson community organisations‟ ability to attract, retain and train quality workers. These claimsare endorsed by Warwick Pudney, who argues that there needs to be more financial supportfor local NGOs: The current intervention agencies have functioned well and need continued support financially. We need to continue networking to ensure tight systems of accountability occur to protect our children (Pudney, 2005/2006:51)Others suggest that competition for funding causes problems for collaboration between largerand small organisations: Finding is a huge issue. Using funding to enable networking and connections and relationships to happen whatever that might be. There‟s a bit of disconnect between small local organisations and big providers who are often funded better. Or there‟s a level of resentment? Because of the way everyone‟s funded, they are all going to the same trusts, and some of them are funded from ten different sources. So from a business point of view they are not talking to each other 22
    • The Ministry of Health‟s Guidelines (2002) claim that since child abuse often co-occurs withpartner abuse, issues cannot therefore be treated in isolation. A report produced in 2003 aspart of the Waitakere Wellbeing collaboration project endorsed this view: [There is]…a need to look at child abuse and partner abuse together – need to deal with mothers and children in a more holistic way…reinforce that neither type of violence is acceptable and that we need to better support women so that they can support their children (Te Korowai Manaaki report 2003)Everard states that Maori and Pacific communities respond to holistic and culturalapproaches to family violence prevention that includes counselling, family support services,crisis services, youth programmes, and child advocacy. There seems to be an increasingawareness that holistic service provision is helpful not only to Maori and Pacific communities,but also to the range of other communities in Waitakere.Maori Service provisionMaori services are aimed at connecting people to their whanau and community. There arelong-standing and important Maori initiatives in Waitakere – The Hoani Waititi urban maraesupports the whole whanau, but is noted especially for its tamariki development throughkohanga reo, kura, and youth programmes. The Waipareira Trust brings a holistic vision tostrengthening families based around the concept of Moemoea – the Dream. Within thisconcept, strong family characteristics include: knowledge whakapapa and taonga; ability tospeak one‟s own language; valuing of children; recognition of roles, functions andresponsibilities; collective ability to meet responsibilities; resources to meet needs. Indicatorsthat the dream has been achieved include: all Tamariki are comfortable and in a safe placewhere they can learn safely and well. Waipareira is contracted to promote child protectionand deliver services to vulnerable families in Waitakere. Child abuse prevention andprotection initiatives include: a specialist family home with full time house parents (up to fiveresidents) and a Family Violence Waipareira programme. In addition the organisation isworking with SWIS, developing a Family Violence research project for children, offeringnational advice on family violence protection and prevention, developing networks with MoWai Te Ora parenting programme based at Waitakere hospital, and planning a midwiferyservice will be integrated with early child health services (Waipareira annual report,2007/2008).In addition, Tika Marama has an established refuge for women who have been victims ofabuse, and their children. Tu Wahine provides primary prevention and interventionservices to Maori whanau affected by rape, incest, sexual abuse and family violence. TheMaori caucus named „Korowai Manaaki‟ 3runs anti-violence radio programmes on RadioWatea and works closely with Tu Wahine. The caucus also receives funding from SKIP toprovide parenting programmes. Recently, Tu Wahine and Te Korowai Manaaki / Great StartWaitakere produced a Family Violence Primary Prevention strategy (2006-2010) forTamariki under five in Waitakere. The strategy claims a “one size fits all” approach is notfeasible, and that a Maori cultural framework for addressing Maori child abuse isnecessary. This claim is reinforced elsewhere by Maori: In non-Maori organisation, a Maori cultural framework is missing. It does help the relationship.3 Korowai Manaaki was the name given to the 2003 Great Start Waitakere report and subsequently used by theMaori caucus. 23
    • We have a concept of a continuum running from Kahupo to Tiora, and the distance between is the journey that people are on. Abusers and the abused would be Kahupo. Whakama (loss of identity, shame) needs to be dealt with by finding out what it is that is hurting people and putting it right. Pakeha need to honour that and where people come from. It‟s not just about honour. There are [ripples out from] abusers and victims, to others.However some Maori argue that Maori providers don‟t have the capacity to provide sufficientservices to Maori. They point out that 13% of the Waitakere population is Maori, yet 40-45%of people represented in Family Violence statistics are Maori. In addition, community workersstate that Maori often prefer to use non-Maori services. A Maori community worker explains: There are issues around the quality of service and delivery – the feeling that you get a better, more professional service from non- Maori. Another reason for Maori preferring non-Maori services is that non-Maori services would challenge them less around issues of ethnicity. I.e. they could appeal to culture.Pacific Service ProvisionPacific people in Waitakere fall into two distinct groups: there are people who have lived herefor more than one generation, sometimes for many generations, and then there are thosewho were born in the Islands and have to learn to manage the entirely different culture ofmainstream New Zealand. The latter experience the greatest culture shock. Pacificcommunity workers discuss cultural differences in New Zealand and how they impact onPacific childrearing and authority structures: [Pacific-born citizens] have [now] got to live in an environment where you have to have money. The law says you can‟t leave children and have to feed them at the appropriate time. All of those factors lead to so-called violence. We have physical punishment [in our culture]. It‟s so hard for our families, to have to find money, not having the support that they are used to back home. A different way of living, we have to try a variety of approaches with them.Social services targeted specifically at Pacific peoples are provided by a relatively smallnumber of community organisations (Waitakere Community report, 2006). The main Pacificservice providing education and family violence awareness in Waitakere is the PacificIslands Safety & Prevention Project Inc. (The Project), based in Massey. Training isprovided to educators using resources to deliver messages in specific languages.Counsellors facilitate mens groups, couples groups, parenting and womens support groups.The organisation leads Violence Free Pasefika, a network of pacific peoples who work withPacific communities in combating family violence. The other key organisation was WaipareiraPacific (WAIPAS), but this has recently been dissolved and project work is now undertakenby the Waipareira Trust.Pacific community workers point out that for new settlers in particular, education andprevention programmes need to be presented in their own languages. Language specificeducation is also important for the thousands of older Pacific people who may not have astrong grasp of the English language, but do have authority over younger family members: We are like dead people when we are speaking to English, when we listen to presentations in English, we lose 40% of that, 24
    • translating before responding, so stuff needs to be language specific. Every meeting that we had in Waitakere we ask for resources to be translated. But it always falls to deaf ears. Those mamas and those grandmothers at home they are the key members of the family. If we go home and the grandmothers say this is the programme we have to do, they will hammer it down to the aunties and the uncles. Quite often it‟s an aunty and uncle, extended family who are more important in terms of safety than the immediate family, quite often they save you from really harsh [hitting].Mainstream local authorities‟ handling of family violence issues is considered by Pacificpeople to be sometimes culturally unsafe: You need discretion, you‟ve got to take into account whakama, [you need to] talk to the elder of this house and explain to him that what‟s happened here is wrong. Without shaming him in front of the whole neighbourhood. That punishment‟s even worse. Plus he‟s going to lose this job and that would create more stress. More stress would end up with more violenceFor Pacific families, the church is often the centre of support services: The church is like an island without the beach. When they come to the church they feel really within their culture. Children will get support in the church. The church is the strength for Pacifika families and always will be. Pacific island gatherings always look out for children.At the end of 2007 twelve churches were involved in a SKIP programme, which proveddifficult at the start. While there were Ministers who supported the programme, otherMinisters sometimes put up barriers to changing the culture of strong discipline: …who totally believed that it was their right, spare the rod and spoil the child, so there was a lot of work that needed to be done. Because of the involvement of other ministers and their wives – they managed to come around. Now we have ministers who come to ask to have a supporting letter for programmes that they actually want to do in churches, and it‟s awesome they come out now from their comfort zone to ask for programmes for each church.Finally, lack of funding and powerlessness to determine the use of funding they had, causedconcern among several Pacific community workers.New SettlersNew Settlers can face particularly difficult issues such as culture shock, language barriersand (refugee) trauma, yet there are insufficient services across Waitakere to assist thisparticular group to understand the new society: 25
    • We come from societies where raising kids was done totally differently, you would, a smack here and there…What you don‟t know you don‟t know, you discipline you kids and your neighbour rings up…you could be up late at night, no such boundaries. Even now I say [you must] tell parents from the outset that smacking your children, leaving you child under 14 is wrong.In 2004 a WCC “Call to Action” initiative calling itself New Out West (NOW) formed theWaitakere Ethnic board which overseas services for migrants. Although organisations suchas WEA support migrants through English language and driver‟s licence course provision, theonly Waitakere based service specifically for new settlers is the New Zealand Ethnic SocialServices. Carol Everard reports that it is “…short staffed, with no social infrastructure to callon when they have no core funding” (Everard, 2005). The organisation counteracts thesedeficits by being innovative and collaborative, working successfully alongside mainstreamWaitakere organisations such as WAVES, CYF and Waipareira (“Wonderful, we have a goodrelationship”). Its work with Selwyn College represents a particularly successful collaborationwith a provider: Selwyn a good model, but unfortunately we don‟t have anyone else. Selwyn has child course, and English course, special refugee unit…we really need more units like at Selwyn College, especially with child care. Part of the [NZ Ethnic Social Services] courses are conducted at Selwyn.NZ Ethnic Social Services convened a forum in May 2008 that explored refugee and migrantfamily violence. Possibly as a result of the collaborative outlook and energy of theorganisation, many local organisations became involved. For instance, a mainstreamprovider assisted the organisation by arranging for a student from the tech college to workthere two days a week to co-ordinate the meeting.The forum was followed by a monthly meeting on the topic, hosted by NZ Ethnic SocialServices. The organisation now runs SKIP funded parenting programmes, family violenceeducation, English classes, budgeting and driving licence courses at its rooms in Te Atatu.Members of the Pacific community have joined in the workshops and a Pacific leader hashelped to get new settler parenting programmes running on Triangle television.In terms of having to learn New Zealand laws and mainstream parenting practices, NewSettler communities recognise that they have a lot in common with Pacific communities. Theyalso see that they have much in common with Maori, and that they work collaboratively withMaori providers. Our values the same re whanau and respect for elders and we love our food! Waipareira, Family Start, home visiting so a number of our new settler mums are on that programme, I get phone calls form them when they want interpreters.Despite all this work, New Settlers themselves seem to be less visible than other groupswithin mainstream service provision in Waitakere. There are some good examples ofmainstream service providers who have employed a part time new settler, or usedinterpreters, but new settlement has only been on the agenda of mainstream agencies “overthe last five or six years”, and only a few have actually modified their own practices. SomeNew Settlers have joined mainstream services such as parenting, but there have also beenfailures, generally understood to be due to English language deficits. 26
    • I love the mix of races. Last week I had seven different nationalities visit, very small numbers of new settlers. A Korean woman dropped out said she couldn‟t keep up with the language. We did do some work with New Migrants initially a little through the NZ Ethnic social services for the SKIP stuff but we have very little [take-up] from the migrant community. That‟s a big gap. Fragmented community, and language skills.There are small grassroots New Settler groups in Waitakere who meet informally fordiscussion and support. An Eritrean coffee group has been given funding by MSD‟s Familyand Community Services. Other New Settlers travel out of the city to join groups in the widerAuckland region.Collaboration across Waitakere ServicesCollaboration seems to work best among tertiary services. A “collaborative network aroundchild abuse services” in Waitakere is claimed by some providers for responding to and actingon call outs. Viviana and Man Alive, for instance, work closely with the courts and with thepolice. Viviana works with a range of other organisations including Tika Maranga and Victimsupport. The Family Violence court sometimes direct first time offenders to these and otherservices, and make referrals to Man Alive, West Auckland Women‟s centre SAFEprogramme, Lifewise, Relationship Services, or, if clients can pay, the Waitakere Abuse andTrauma Centre.The police, Viviana and CYFs work together to follow up on call outs and to maintain aneffective database within the community. Plunket are working towards training nursespecialists in family violence to work alongside Police and CYFs. Three organisations arealso in the process of leasing a house that will become a one-stop hub for the localcommunity. Participants are WAVES, Violence Free Waitakere and Tika Marama (Maoriwomen‟s refuge). One member of the group explains it is a well supported collaborativeventure: We will share, it will have prevention and co-ordination and urgency…The Mayoral Task Force on Family Violence is certainly impressed with it, and there‟s a possibility that the council might support us as well, lease for the first year, a lot of things in process a really good position.Among primary services, there is less coordination and collaboration. While acknowledgingthe good work of WAVES, service providers believe that members of the community needmore information about the range of services, what they provide, and how they can beaccessed: We need a point of contact that families can access and understand exactly how those agencies work and how to get in touch with a lot of those services - people are frustrated with trying to get access to services. For the average person knowing how and when to call for help is tricky. I proposed that an agency or clearinghouse got set up, so that if there was a concern, people could ring in and talk about it. There definitely is a collaborative network but not sure whether it‟s fabulously well functioning. Maybe over the last 4-5 years, 27
    • WAVES has certainly lifted the profile of all the agencies involved and the work they are doing. I still find sometimes that it is a struggle to know exactly who is doing what and where the gaps are and who I refer to if we can‟t fill the gaps. But the profile has really lifted a lot and in that sense I feel really confident about it.Collaboration is considered to be particularly weak in terms of child advocacy. Threeorganisations in Waitakere won the opportunity to host child advocates. They were TuWahine, Barnardos and the Pacific Project. Full collaboration between the position holdershas not yet occurred. Suggestions have been made that this might be because the roleswere not well-considered by funders at the outset: I met another child advocate from another area, at an MSD hui and she said they‟d had a lot of problems in their area as well. It seemed like a good idea but it had been put in place really quickly without really preparing agencies communities and the people themselves, and so in most places there were difficultiesRespondents cite other areas in New Zealand where collaboration and networking is strongerthan in Waitakere, but also believe that with new initiatives, collaboration and informationsharing is improving in this area: In the South Island there‟s a key person that gives people information they need 0-6. You‟d feed into there first like a big directory. Over that period instead of getting questions coming from the community [they] actually came from the agencies. When it‟s functioning well the Strengthening Families process (where several agencies work with several families) works well. They have networks at their fingertips. I think it‟s getting used more and more. Child advocacy needs the support of a wide range of people in the community. They will rebuild now...will get some sort of support going.While a collaborative service response to family violence may be growing in Waitakere, thereis also a growing awareness of the need to highlight child abuse. I think there are a heck of a lot of family services very few child specific services The default position is taken often to work with families rather than children themselves. I don‟t think that‟s because it‟s the best thing for kids. I think it‟s because what people know to do. Child Advocates are not focused on children, but adults. They should network, but some organisations have own governance structures, and are not putting children first, but last.Keen to place children back at the centre of child abuse prevention, a group of Waitakerecommunity work leaders convened a local forum called “In Our Hands”. Recommendationsinformed the Mayoral Taskforce and the It‟s Not OK campaign: We decided between us that probably the [Mayoral] taskforce wasn‟t being focused in its work cos it didn‟t have a task, and that 28
    • the people that were on it were at all different levels of acknowledgement about what was happening in the community and what to do about it. So we convened something that would bring the community together to think around these things and about taking responsibility, statutory and non-statutory. We had a wide range of individuals and organisations, about 60 people…out of that, we got a mandate back to the taskforce to place children at the centre of all their work.The Taskforce for Action on Violence within Families has made child maltreatment (includingabuse and neglect) prevention a strategic priority between 2008 and 2011, and to workingwith communities to strengthen their preventative responses. The Taskforce undertakes toensure that resources in the next phase will focus specifically on child maltreatment. 29
    • Early childhood support (0-4 years)Everard (2008) reports that a number of agencies had identified that there was not enoughmonitoring of the health and safety of little children: Children between the ages of 0-2 years old can be particularly at risk but currently the numbers of children who fall into this category in Waitakere is unknown (Everard, 2008:18)Concerned about safety for children under five, Safe Waitakere facilitated the Safe Under 5Plan in 2001. This process uncovered a major gap in child protection for this age group andresulted in a new project initiative, “Protecting our Tamariki”, in 2002 (Te Korowai Manaakireport, 2003), now part of the Waitakere Wellbeing Collaboration Project. Protecting ourTamariki works to reduce violence to women and children under five. However, theorganisers have chosen an emphasis on primary violence prevention, since: Reducing violence against under 5s isn‟t enough; we actually need to stop it happening in the first place (Te Korowai Manaaki report, 2003)This emphasis echoes the emphasis placed on primary care by the MSD and the EDCprogramme. An important aspect of primary care for babies is antenatal preparation for theparenting role. The current model of antenatal care is considered too medical, failing tosupport the parent emotionally and psychologically. There is a need to provide morewelcoming environments for new parents: …attachment is misunderstood, how important that is. At present ante-natal preparation for the birth is very medical but if it could be a new parents‟ class, more welcoming to new parents. Before a child was released from hospital….Waitakere Hospital‟s Child & Family Service offers a free community based health serviceproviding health education, health screening, parenting support and education and well childcare. Mothers can also get access to free midwives (Waitakere Community report, 2006).However, the short duration of confinement in hospital is a concern, in terms of the timeneeded for new parents to feel confident with their babies: One of the hugest issues is the turnaround getting mothers out of hospital within 24 hours. Far too fast. It doesn‟t allow them to establish breast feeding, doesn‟t allow the mother time to get to know her babies. She needs to be kept in for 4-5 days.Midwives may be seen by the hospital as a way to manage problems associated with shorthospital stays. However, community workers claim that this is an insufficient response, asmidwives are not able to visit frequently enough or to stay long with the new mother: They would say midwifery services are there to plug the gaps, but I don‟t think they are, the midwife calls in once a day doesn‟t get breastfeeding established. They do that for a few days then it tails off 30
    • Home VisitsIn Waitemata, midwives are able to contact Plunket on the mother‟s behalf, so that nursescan make home visits. However, Everard (2008) claims that there are gaps in care handoverprocesses from hospital to Plunket that interfere with continuity of care. This could beaddressed by closer co-ordination between midwives and Plunket, although the abovecomments from respondents suggest that the short period of hospital confinement andinsufficient numbers of midwives or lead maternity carers in hospitals may be the cause. Plunket offices are in Henderson and Rodney. Nurses will visit mothers in their homes, at the mother‟s request, four to six weeks after birth. Early childhood home visits often include parent education. Plunket nurses assess the baby and help mothers with issues such as feeding, sleep, immunisation and parenting education. Annual follow up visits are then made until the child reaches five years old. Plunket also puts mothers in touch with other families, particularly new mothers, through playgroups. In addition there is Plunket Line, a 24-hour support service for anything to do with parenting and children under five years:Appropriate follow-up home care is essential to a child‟s (and mother‟s) well being, and arange of home visit programmes for parents with children from birth to five, provide them withguidance, and where needed, extra support through referral to other services: The home visit thing is critically important and has got to be a cultural match and build up a relationship over a period of time. Research from overseas…no parent should even have to ask.The Government initiative Parents as First Teachers (PAFT) is available for parents withchildren from 0-4. Providers of this initiative offer free, practical support for mothers, who hearabout PAFT through the midwives. Participating families receive regular home visits fromtrained parent educators who share information and practical ideas. Parent educatorsobserve record and monitor the child‟s growth and development in order to identify potentialproblems early. A number of services target „priority populations‟ such as Maori and Pacificchildren from low socio-economic backgrounds (Home Visitor and Parenting ProgrammeProject Report, 2007; Waitakere Community report, 2006).One such programme is Family Start, a home visiting programme run by Waipareira Pasifikaand now managed by the Waipareira Trust. The family / whanau visitor works with the familyto identify priorities and to support them to achieve their goals. If a family is involved withmany different agencies, family/whanau worker acts as an advocate and coordinator betweenall agencies to protect the family‟s priorities. The programme works by self referral, or referralby hospital social workers or CYF. But it struggles with the difficulty of meeting families‟needs: They are stretched to the max and they will only take referrals for people who are willing to work with them. They way they deal with restraints is we will do a couple of cold calls, leave a card or if they are reluctant, oh well, we have families willing to work with us.Bilukha et al (2005) report that there is strong evidence of the effectiveness of home visitsespecially where the programmes are delivered by professionals during the child‟s first twoyears of life, and run for more than two years. Although home visits are generally consideredto be helpful for parents (“Traditionally visits in the home is understood to be the way ofgetting alongside people and helping them feel comfortable”), sometimes this does not work 31
    • well for people who need a quiet place “to escape to” from their home environment, or whowould like to maintain privacy / confidentiality from family members: A client would always be asked if they would prefer someone from a Maori organisation, but often prefer not to, a lot of sensitivity around that.In terms of home support, Grandparents Raising Grandchildren is a successful grassrootsinitiative which is doing a lot of important work. The Grandparents Raising Children Trust isbased on Auckland‟s north shore, and there are support groups throughout the country.Established by grandparents who saw a need, the organisation draws in many grandparentswho struggled as parents themselves, and offers training to interested participants in areas ofchild development such as attachment. The trust, funded by the Portage Licensing Trust, hasappointed two area co-ordinators. The organisation advertises in local print media, and inpublic buildings. Some local schools are highly supportive and some grandparents havetaken roles as teacher aides within those schools. The role is a difficult one, and there is aneed for a visible venue in the community: They are dealing with some of our most damaged kids, and they spend a lot of time running across one side of the city to another in their retirement. They have talked about the need for a one-stop shop.Parent Education outside the homeResearch undertaken by Moran, Ghate and van de Merwe (2004), suggests that earlyintervention parenting programmes are best, and that the most effective interventions willhave a strong theoretical base, measurable objectives, more than one method of delivery,attention to retention, a variety of referral routes, structured programmes, trained and skilledstaff, and a parallel focus on parents, families and children. The Families Commission‟sreview of parenting programmes in New Zealand (Kerslake, Henricks and Balakrishnan,2005) identified a range of good parenting programmes (Family Start, Parents as FirstTeachers, Plunket‟s Well Child / Tamariki Ora, Anau Ako Pasifika, Whanau Toko I Te Ora),and those offered by Barnados and Presbyterian Support Services. In Waitakere SKIPfunding supports a “huge” amount of parent education: The SKIP approach was very solid and sound, sensible, and is having effects now. The production of resources, which is what most people know about, is only a small part of SKIP. It is a mindset and a change of thinking around alternative ways to parent. It‟s about conscious parenting, thinking about the sorts of parents they want to be. There is no shortage of places we can send people to. There‟s availability in just about every NGO in Waitakere. Some are free, some aren‟t. Barnados are free.As a non-statutory organisation, Barnardos is has the advantage of being more trusted, andis well used by the community. It is non-threatening, and there is quite an acceptance [among recipients] about receiving help, it disperses barriersBarnardos offers a range of services, with integrated support for families so that they are notrequired to repeat their story to each service. The organisation offers different levels of help 32
    • from budgeting advice to counselling, supervised contact, child care, and other services.Other organisations besides Barnardos that offer structured, weekly courses include Lifewise,Man Alive, WEA and The Pacific Project. The Waipareira Trust offers a weekly parentingprogramme on Maori TV. Lifewise runs courses for parents of toddlers, parents of school agechildren and teenagers, and a parenting through separation course which is part of the familycourts. Man Alive also runs programmes referred by the courts for men. Of the Family Court‟sdistribution of referrals to community intervention services, 57% were to Man Alive.Mostly parents self-refer to courses, and demand is high, which seems to suggest theprogrammes are meeting parents‟ needs. They also note that many parenting courses arecomplementary and therefore parents can, and do, attend more than one course.Most courses are run by trained and skilled staff.Although several providers reported high numbers of attendees, some report reluctance onthe part of families to participate in parenting courses both inside and outside the home. Theysuggest that this is possibly due to a view by parents that they are being judged: We are not getting the message across to parents that parenting is a learned behaviour so that when we suggest they do a parenting course they see it as a punishment…at every opportunity people should be taking is that there is this wonderful parenting course.Examples of combination parenting / childcare programmes are the Home InteractionProgramme for Parents and Youngsters (HIPPY) runs in Helensville, Ranui and Kelston. TheWest Auckland Parents‟ Centre runs parent education, child birth education and parenteducation courses as well as playgroups. Barnardos runs Kidstart programmes in Glen Edenand Henderson. Workers report that it is crucial that the course environment is verycomfortable and welcoming, as parents may not have the resources to continue otherwise: It‟s hard to get them in the first place but if you‟ve go in there they don‟t know how to do that ice-breaking behaviour so they go in they feel uncomfortable and they say I didn‟t like that so I‟m not going back.Waitemata DHB recognises the important links between parenting education and earlychildhood education. Their Child Health Strategic Plan (2003) and the Home Visitor andParenting Programme Project (2007) reports both recognise the need for increased servicesfor parents and their young children especially for Maori and Pacific Islands children. Maoriand Pacific providers themselves consider it essential that parenting support is culturallyappropriate. The Pacific Islands Safety & Prevention Project Inc. (The Project) is based inMassey, and provides specific education for Pacific Islands communities on parentingincluding family violence awareness, in a manner that is culturally appropriate.Early Childhood EducationThe Great Start Waitakere (Te Korowai Manaaki) report has a strong focus on increasing thenumbers of children engaged in early childhood education. There are several community-based early childhood education programmes including Playcentre, playgroups, day carecentres and Barnados centres. These services in Waitakere provide opportunities for parentsto come in contact with each other and to learn parenting skills, while focussing on the wellbeing, socialisation and learning of children. Playcentres were established for this purpose,and offer learning for children from birth to 6 years. Centres are run co-operatively bywhanau/parents as an extension to the whanau/family setting. An example is the TeAkoranga (West Auckland) SPACE (Supporting Parents Alongside Childrens Education)Programme, which is for first-time parents with newborn babies, starting at age 0-3 months. 33
    • Other playcentres are in Glen Eden, Glendene, Henderson Valley, Massey, Ranui, Swanson,Waitarua and West Harbour.The Waitakere City Council has recently established the early childhood education ECE-EXPRESS website. It is part of the Waitakere Wellbeing Collaboration Project, and is a resultof the „call-to-action‟ by the Waitakere City Council. The site will enable parents to locateearly childhood education facilities (and, in some case, parent education) in the areaappropriate to their culture and needs.Co-ordination of servicesThere are a number of initiatives that have been operating in Waitakere for several years. Yetdespite the addition of Strengthening Families co-ordinators, community organisations arenot co-ordinating their efforts as well as could be expected (Home Visitor and ParentingProgramme Project Report, 2007). The report suggests that inadequate funding might beresponsible for this: Several community providers noted a need for more proactive involvement of WDHB Social Workers and Nurse home visitors and generally improved engagement with community services…There appears to be overall poor co-ordination and liaison between providers…providers noted that they were often not funded adequately enough to deliver outputs and actively liaise with others (Home Visitor and Parenting Programme Project Report, 2007)Funding is an issue for providers, especially following the success (in terms of responses) ofthe national anti-violence campaign: …[providers] were all really struggling; they weren‟t getting any more money. They were stretched before the campaign there should have been more support, training put in place, but it didn‟t happen.The primary school years (5-12 years)There is an opportunity to run programmes that address child abuse within the health andphysical education curricula (personal health and physical development; relationships withother people; healthy communities and environments). Many schools do this, complementingthem with school wide social policies that address issues such as bullying. These areimportant, as recent news reports have highlighted the high rate of child abuse in NewZealand, and (more recently) the high rate of bullying in schools (NZHerald, 15/12/08). Whilemany teachers are keen, they are also overstretched. Teachers and principals report thatthey have insufficient time and space in a crowded curriculum to do „welfare‟ roles: We have a very full curriculum. We could be doing social skills all year but we‟ve got to do the other stuff as well. Kids are at a seven year reading age, a lot of our time has to be spent on this.Teachers‟ reluctance may also be attributable to a lack of understanding and discomfort withthe issues. This is due to a lack of specific training around legal issues, recognising andreporting abuse, correct procedures and confidentiality. A respondent acknowledges thatthere are some workshops being offered to teachers in Waitakere, and comments: 34
    • If [teachers] know what to look for and do, they are most likely to be able to make a difference. There‟s nothing done in pre-service and nothing done in-service for teachers out west. There is a series of workshops across the city. [EDC] could give some money to pay teacher relief to enable teachers to go. .CYF have recognised the need for classroom-based programmes that enable children todiscuss the issues of violence. Through their Waitakere EDC project, they have fundedspecialised, externally developed programmes that can be delivered in the school for shortperiods, focusing on violence in a range of contexts, including the home. One suchprogramme, Everyday Theatre, has worked alongside EDC for four years, going with theproject into various communities and delivering drama in schools specifically about childabuse. Another programme promoted by Waitakere Violence Free, „Violence Free Beginswith Me‟, looks at violence more broadly, is Waitakere based, and is teacher delivered. Athird key programme, the long-running Keeping Ourselves Safe, deals more with sexualabuse, and is run by the NZ Police. These programmes are complemented by socialprogrammes with different but related emphases, such as the Cool Schools Peer MediationProgramme, which builds awareness and respect for cultural difference and diversity. Allschool primary prevention programmes are able to reach a „captive audience‟, thus providingthe first real opportunity for all children to learn about their options and build and act onempathy to help themselves and others, in regard to child abuse. The programmes areespecially important in these times, when adults are so hotly debating the repeal of section59 and children are confused over the consequences of reporting abuse (O‟Connor &O‟Connor, 2008).Research (Gordon, 2002; Neelands, 2001) has shown that empathy is a necessary socialskill, particularly if the learning programme concerned deals with interpersonal violence.McEwen (cited in Gordon, 2002) claims that students from violent homes may lack the abilityto empathise, and Gordon asserts that when you raise levels of empathy, you decreaselevels of aggression and violence. Empathy is only important for children who have witnessedor experienced violence in their homes, but provides the basis for all children to actcompassionately on behalf of others who are experiencing abuse. Johnothan Neelandsclaims that empathy building should have priority in the school curriculum. He argues thatschools have failed children by focusing on basic literacy education for survival in aneconomically competitive world, at the expense of a curriculum that builds empathy.Waitakere is very fortunate that there are existing, EDC supported programmes in its schoolsthat have the ability to draw on the emotional wisdom (Holland & O‟Connor, 2004) of youngpeople and build empathy.Young people interviewed after an Everyday Theatre programme showed that they knowwhat constitutes physical, psychological and sexual abuse (O‟Conner and O‟Conner 2008).They know the difference between wilful neglect and neglect through economic necessity.They understand bystander apathy, but do not excuse it. They empathise with the victims ofabuse, and are clear (possibly clearer than adults) that bystanders collude in and aretherefore also guilty of abuse, particularly in the family but also outside: …members of the general public, and/or people who are more removed than immediate family, who don‟t intervene when they see abuse, are also guilty of abuse [though] at a lower level than immediate family. They…don‟t intervene because they don‟t know how to help; are too scared; think it is none of their business; don‟t realise that stepping in might help; are not sure if it‟s bad enough; they might be wrong; have other priorities (O‟Connor & O‟Connor, 2008). 35
    • Programmes that build empathy in children (and teachers) have the potential to produceactive witnesses rather than inactive bystanders. Young people know they can tell – and theperson they are likely to talk to is another young person. The issue is that they are often notheard by adults: The research Frida Briggs does [tells us] a kid who is sexually abused is likely to tell someone 19 times. It‟s not that kids don‟t tell it‟s that no one listens and if they hear it they don‟t know what to do so they pretend they don‟t hear it. So the message is the wrong message, everyone knows it‟s OK to tell. People don‟t listen. They hear what [children] say but don‟t do anything about it. The law says [we need be] hearing children‟s voices and taking them into account in decisions and actions. This is not given its due in some areas. That‟s an issue for all of us in the community.The clear understandings of young people can inform the planning of community services, ifthey are heard. Some key education programmes operating in Waitakere schools that givechildren a voice and listen to that voice, are outlined below.Everyday TheatreEveryday Theatre is a process drama programme that has been running since 2004, iscoordinated through the Department of Child, Youth and Family, and is part of the EverydayCommunities initiative. It has been firmly entrenched into the EDC format in Waitakere. Manyschools and teachers recognise the importance of these skilful, professionally developedprogrammes for their children. Of the twenty five schools (including the local Kura) andcommunity groups which have experienced the Everyday Theatre programme, several arere-running the programme for new intakes of students. One intermediate school stands outfor its willingness to address violence in the home and school through this and a range ofcomplementary programmes. However, Waitakere is a huge city, and still only 1/3 of localyear seven and eight pupils have been able to attend the Everyday Theatre programme. Theprogramme is being introduced to community groups including church groups. The director,Peter O‟Connor, is impressed with level of awareness about the programme that has beenshown in Waitakere schools, thanks to a local CYF worker: [The teachers / and principal] know we„re coming. On a good school there will be a roster. We have had better community liaison social work…gone in and done the disclosure policy stuff…We know when we get to a school that she has been there. They are far better informed and prepared to work with sensitive material.The programme addresses child abuse, neglect, family violence and parental issues, using avideo game in relation to a dysfunctional family, which provides a safe context for theexploration of abuse issues by students. The programme begins with two to four classesviewing a 25-minute performance in the school hall. The performance tells a fictional story ofa family experiencing abuse within a video game of four levels. Students are invited to helpget through the levels. The performance is followed up by classroom drama work, led byprofessional teacher / actors for whom safety of the child is paramount. A recent evaluativereport on the programme run in Waitakere observes that: 36
    • Young people repeatedly display a lack of knowledge over when and to whom they should confide when they are being abused (O‟Connor & O‟Connor, 2008)This programme enables students to gain knowledge, to safely practice how they might acton what they know, and to see what the short and longer term consequences might be. Thatthe programme is not run by classroom teachers may be an advantage, as students fearrejection by school personnel. A student comments, amidst agreement from classmates: I wouldn‟t go anywhere. I wouldn‟t tell anyone…in the school. They wouldn‟t care. Only your best friend. Apart from [a teacher] cos she helps. A friend told a teacher and she said “What do you want me to do about it?”If there are children in schools who do not feel they can approach their teacher, they mustgiven information about steps they can take and people they can contact, by other means.Several people talked about information cards, much like the ones in Northland whichcontained a number of organisations and their contact details.Violence Free begins with meLike Everyday Theatre, „Violence Free Begins with Me‟ is also aimed at intermediate schoolchildren, and is working to change their relationship to violence. It is being delivered in threeschools, and in 2009 repeated in one. Included in the programme are sections on dealingwith severe parental anger and knowing where to go for help. Teachers are trained andsupported by Violence Free Waitakere to lead the programme in their classrooms, whichproduces a level of teacher commitment to the programme. The teachers started with oh here‟s another programme putting on an already overloaded schedule. But by the end of it they were so excited and enthusiastic and they really were fantastic.The programme is made up of four units, taught over twelve sessions of the first term. Itaims to help children choose constructive options in their life and strengthen skills in keepingthemselves safe (Dyer & Holley, 2007). Specifically, it explores communication, self esteem,emotions, safety planning, anger management as well as empathy, bullying and conflict. Children were particularly impressed by visits to the school of an adult who shared his storyof overcoming challenges in his childhood. Other observer was also enthusiastic: Elaine‟s programme in schools I feel really passionate about that because I saw it, some long terms gains from that. So sad that she hasn‟t been able to find funding from anywhere. It makes me question the commitment.The project does struggle to get ongoing funds, although EDC were involved in the pilotprogramme in two local schools. Since then it has been delivered in a large intermediateschool over two years.Keeping Ourselves SafeKeeping Ourselves Safe is promoted as New Zealands national child abuse preventionprogramme for schools. It is jointly sponsored by the NZ police and the Ministry of Education,and focuses on sexual abuse, teaching children the skills they need to cope in sexual abusesituations. A local police education officer works with classroom teachers, and theprogramme is taught by the classroom teacher. It is adjusted for different age ranges: 37
    • Knowing What to Do (age 5 to 7 years); Getting Help (age 8 to 10); Standing Up for Myself(age 11 to 12); Dealing With Risk (younger teens), Building Safe Relationships (older teens).With teachers delivering a programme, there are benefits in terms of commitment to theprogramme. Owen Sanders, National Manager; New Zealand Police Youth EducationService, recounts how in one school: 15 of the 17 staff recounted instances of abuse that had happened to them as youngsters. That took some working through but they told me the staff had developed a sense of corporate support and unity none had experienced in any other school (Illinois State University address, August 4 1997)Roots of EmpathyThis Canadian programme Roots of Empathy has been introduced to a number of schools inNew Zealand, including twenty in Auckland. It is currently being run in three West Aucklandprimary schools, and will be run in a further two next year. It includes monthly visits to theclassroom by a parent and infant from the school neighbourhood. The children learn aboutthe baby‟s interests and needs, and how to have authentic communication with the infant,and in this way they build empathy.Co-ordination and collaboration of programmesA teacher commented that her school felt it was important to draw on a range of support. Theschool runs several programmes, as well as its own “WISH” training, where care,commitment, compassion, courtesy, and co-operation are encouraged. A provider reportedthat the Cool Schools mediation programme, Everyday Theatre and VFBWM all support eachothers‟ work. Such co-operation between projects enriches learning for children. Because ofthe success of these programmes and others like them, the West Auckland Principals‟Association (WAPA) is building up a resource list of such programmes for local schools.There is a small amount of overlap, but generally the programmes do not compete with eachother. Instead people felt that they complemented and reinforced each other.What works against the impact the programmes might have, is that they are often sectionedoff from other curriculum areas and school life in general. An intermediate student expressedsurprise at the abrupt ending to a programme that had raised so many questions: “Then thebell rang and we couldn‟t talk about it.” – children had to move to another class. The bell,then, cuts across the respect and trust that has been built up in these specialisedprogrammes. It cuts across also, what children experience as a special moment in theirschool lives of being allowed to express their own thoughts about real life issues: …. it didn‟t feel like you were in school. They didn‟t tell us what to do, like they didn‟t act and get us to copy, they let us do what we wanted to do Like “try and set this scene in your own way”, made you think, let us work it out ourselvesIf children can only discuss child abuse within the boundaries of the formal curriculum andschool timetables, this might send a message about how much the adults around themrespect their views and how much child abuse matters to adults. In addition, we may also bemissing important opportunities for addressing the issue. In aware schools, opportunities willbe made within topics other than health, such as social studies and English, and in the wholeschool. Such widening of the boundaries of discussion requires a supportive schoolleadership, sound policies and teachers skilled in working with children who disclose child 38
    • abuse. This requires professional development support and the support of external services,such as the Social Workers in Schools programme.Social Workers in Schools (SWIS)The Social Workers in Schools programme is led and financed by Child, Youth and Familyand supported by the Ministry of Education and other ministries. It tends to work in low decileschools, and is run in partnership with service providers around the country who directlyemploy the social workers. Waitakere schools receive SWIS support from Barnardos, TeWhanau O Waipareira Trust and Family Works. Schools include Waitakere, Glen EdenPrimary, New Lynn Primary, Henderson South Primary, Ranui Primary, Glendene Primary, StLeonards Rd Primary, Kelston Intermediate, Birdwood Primary and Don Buck Primary.Footsteps to Feeling Safe (Barnardos)This programme, run at Barnardos, aims to help children between the ages of five andthirteen deal with the effects of being a witness to or victim of domestic violence. It helpschildren work through the effects of this trauma as well as looking at ways the children cankeep themselves safe. The programme covers safety plans for children, expressing feelingsappropriately and managing anger.Community development and neighbourhood strengtheningBystander apathy is reported to be partly responsible for the deaths of abused children. Arecent television news bulletin interviewed people who had witnessed the maltreatment ofNia Glassie. They felt guilt and remorse for doing nothing. Niki Harre of Auckland Universitywas quoted as saying “It‟s the heroes that ring up” (One News, 6:10PM Tuesday November18, 2008). Bystander apathy is common; we need our children to grow up heroes. The 2008MSD research review states: For severe baby and child battering types of child abuse, public awareness and education aimed at extended family, witnesses and bystanders4 is more likely to be helpful than awareness and education interventions aimed directly at the parents.The report recommends steps to increase witness and bystander interventions to stopmaltreatment or to report abuse. These include positively promoting awareness of what childmaltreatment is, its effects, and tips on how to intervene. Events such as White Ribbon Day,Toddler Day out, Tamariki Ora Day and Waiparera Whanau day have real impact in thecommunity in terms of making the issues visible, but further action is needed to turnneighbourhood bystanders into active citizens, willing to intervene where necessary. TheWCC‟s “Call to Action” strategy works with community representatives to achieve broadspectrum improvements in local communities, such as in housing, employment, settlement,education, and the reduction of violence. This is in line with research carried out by VickyCattell (2001) and others, which reveals that the community context influences social capitalor quality of life within neighbourhoods. The context may include: the area‟s history, work opportunities, local resources and opportunities for participation, played a role in developing relationships of trust, norms of co-operation and reciprocity;2 My italics 39
    • patterns of mutual aid and information exchange, and perceptions of safety or fear of crime (Cattell, 2001:1512)It is recognised that initiatives aimed at building connections between neighbours, awarenessof neighbours who are in difficulty, and responsibility for self and others, need toacknowledge economic and social issues and constraints, yet community workers can feelfrustrated by apathy: There‟s a lack of connection in families and neighbourhoods and lack of responsibility and ownership for everybody‟s children. Every single one of us has a responsibility for all children. It‟s a worry [when] a person would ring up and express concern but wouldn‟t give their name. People are taking a bit of responsibility but stop short of what‟s in the best interests of the child. I‟d say to people who called what do you think the best thing to do is, what are you going to do to help your neighbour?Local community/neighbourhood building projects that are connected to Waitakere CityCouncil‟s Call to Action strategy, are Massey Matters, the Ranui Action Project, and ProjectTwin Streams. Project Twin Streams is an integrated community development approach.While the project has primarily environmental objectives, it also enables neighbours to get toknow (and therefore look out for) each other. The Ranui Action Project (RAP) aims toimprove health and well-being, expand community capacity, increase access to services andrevitalise the Ranui community. Work in these areas is slow but effective in involvingmembers of the community. Responses from the Massey project are positive, and there ishonest acknowledgement of the struggle experienced within the Ranui Action Project: We learned in Massey Matters that we shouldn‟t expect too much we shouldn‟t shower people with money in the initial stages back we should let them things on the ground that they enjoy doing. And that will bring them out of their houses. Don‟t get them into writing constitutions or forming funding committees, avoid all that stuff. What‟s happening in Massey is really great and manageable, I wonder if there is another Massey, another little area that has not got a lot going on at the moment and the lessons from Massey could be learned, and try to grow it, mushroom it a bit. The central services have so much history there; you‟re not going to change it. Massey hasn‟t got a lot of (political) history. Ranui has had a lot of resource and it really hasn‟t done what it should have done. Maybe go back into Ranui and revisit. That community has a number of problems identified so how come you suddenly expect them to be experts in managing funds and setting up structures? There‟s a better recognition of those issues now. In Waitakere we learned that we shouldn‟t expect too much of people either.What all of these initiatives have in common is that they get neighbours talking and breakdown barriers, thereby increasing opportunities for support, but also for active watchfulness. 40
    • What I think is the ultimate is when communities are strong in themselves, it‟s not just about the social service, we don‟t think from service provision focus. If the neighbourhood is balanced, caring for one another, it eliminates a certain amount of risk. Strengthened by people knowing one another….There‟s a real awakening within the community that that is what is needed (not services).It is not clear that there are strong links between community building and civic action in termsof child abuse. Other initiatives focused on official home callers (e.g. SPCA) and others incontact with families (e.g. WINZ) are more targeted in their aims and actions. Officials aretrained in how to identify and report suspected abuse. Members of the community are notoffered information that would enable them to confidently know that abuse has or may beoccurring in their neighbourhood, and the responsible action they should take. 41
    • Summary and conclusionsWaitakere as a city is outstanding in New Zealand for its commitment to addressing familyviolence, and, within that, child abuse. The Waitakere City Council, the WAVES network andmany large and small service providers understand the importance of primary preventionstrategies, and have been working energetically over this last decade to build awareness,safe communities and high quality primary service provision. Campaigns and events buildgeneral awareness, dedicated programmes build understanding about how to parent andhow to address child abuse, and community development projects build strongercommunities. Some issues are highlighted in respect to capability which will be discussedlater in this section. The family court, victim support, police, CYF, refuges and others havebuild effective, collaborative interventions and avenues for education and rehabilitation whenabuse has occurred. Those working in the field are well aware of what has yet to beaddressed in the city – this report may simply provide a collation of these views and somepossible actions towards addressing gaps.Collaboration and co-ordinationThe report found interesting trends in regard to co-ordination and collaboration. The WCC,WAVES and community organisations network well and frequently in most instances. This isa good example of local body – community participation. Frontline organisations such as thepolice, Viviana, CYF and others also demonstrate good collaborative networks, and issuesregarding data sharing and confidentiality are being worked through. Primary serviceproviders are less likely to work together on a daily basis, although some do. The generalpattern seems to be that primary providers refer people on to services they know about, butotherwise do not engage frequently with other services. This means community workerknowledge of services does not widen. Such growth occurs best when there is goodinformation sharing and co-ordination across the city. This is the role of WAVES, where therehave been some good collaborative networking ventures such as the “In Our Hands” forum.Unfortunately, information sharing and co-ordination of activities by WAVES has sufferedover the last year, and this is partly due to tensions between some community services whichhave impacted significantly on others, and partly due to the need for a new co-ordinator.Collaboration is stronger between large or long-established primary care organisations, butthere is less interaction and collaboration between these and small or fledgling organisations.There is also less interaction and collaboration demonstrated between organisations servingparticular ethnicities. Pacific and new settler organisations are working hard to build bridgeslinking themselves, Maori and mainstream organisations. There is some reciprocation, butthis could be improved. Despite early difficulties with the child advocate initiative current roleholders now look forward to working together for the children of Waitakere city.Professional developmentCapability, in terms of addressing child abuse, is an issue across a range of organisations.There are gaps in child abuse professional development for those who are likely to come intocontact with children on a regular basis, namely nurses, doctors, teachers and communityworkers. The new child advocates, social workers and child protection workers are working toupskill these people. Development needs within community service provision are bothprofessional and personal, yet some personnel have not yet had the opportunity to addresspersonal development issues that impact on their work. This is being addressed in partthrough the inclusion of personal development in professional development courses. Asystem of supervision would strengthen this aspect of development. 42
    • For small or fledgling organisations, funding is not generally rolled over, and it does not coverprofessional development. Thus it is a huge issue. To further complicate matters, the currentfunding regime where all organisations must compete with each other adds to the „leanness‟of bids. Finally, professional development and other capability building time are eroded insmall organisations which must apply to several funders.Cultural perspectives impact on how services are provided for different ethnic communities,Clients are perceived by service providers to get more appropriate service from provisionreflecting their ethnicity. However, statistics indicate that potential clients outnumber thecapacity of ethnically appropriate services. The implication of this for the WCC andmainstream service providers is that they need to continually build ethnically appropriateservices. At the least, these services include having staff that reflect the ethnic distribution ofWaitakere city, and having information in a range of languages. Some are outstanding in thisregard – others not yet.Early Childhood SupportMidwifery, home visiting and parent education are effective for those who receive theirservices. There is an established process of handover from midwives to home visiting,parenting and early childhood education. Most of this, however, seems to rely on a very shortcontact time in hospital and on the parent being proactive in seeking support. It is not clearwhat is being put in place to ensure parents don‟t „fall through the net‟. All of these servicesare reported to be stretched. Some services don‟t promote themselves in the community,thus raising the likelihood of parents and children falling through the net. One good exceptionis the ECE-Express website.The Primary School yearsWaitakere is fortunate to have a number of programmes that address child abuse running inits schools. This is important because the delivery of these programmes in school yearsprovide the only primary care opportunity for children to be directly spoken to, to be heard inrelation to child abuse, and informed about what they can do. Further, children know thatpeople don‟t usually hear them, yet they need / deserve to have, and to become, empathicyet active witnesses. With some notable exceptions, teachers (the de facto parents ofchildren during school hours) are often ambivalent about the programmes – they can seetheir value, but they perceive that they have neither the time nor the training to follow upsafely with children. Although some have made a great effort in this regard, for most,knowledge and time shortfalls, as well as curriculum demands, impact on their ability to co-ordinate programmes and utilise social work support in their schools so that all childrenbenefit.Community developmentThe 2008 MSD report recommends that communities provide information that buildsawareness and informs people on how to intervene. Waitakere community providers andothers have campaigned strongly in the media and created and supported events to buildawareness. They have made inroads into upskilling their workforce. They have engaged incommunity development projects which recognise and address social and economiccontraints and are therefore likely to have a far reaching impact on people‟s sense ofcommunity and community responsibility. They need now to focus on providing information topeople, perhaps in small neighbourhood situations, about what steps they can take asneighbours and witnesses to potential or actual child abuse.The following recommendations are for EDC interventions. They take the trends, issues andgaps in Waitakere responses to child abuse into account, but also consider what can 43
    • realistically be achieved by EDC in its last year of engagement with the community, thatwould make a difference.Recommendations for 2009So far, the EDC project has been very effective in supporting media campaigns and events,and in enabling networking forums that facilitate the exchange of information between serviceproviders. Some of the issues are largely a factor of the sheer size of Waitakere. It may bethat a community or neighbourhood-wide rather than a city-wide approach would establish avisible model for future interventions in urban areas of this size. The following is a summaryof suggestions arising from the research, most of which are resource-development focused.Some might be concentrated in a small community to maximise effect, while others are citywide.General:The main areas identified for development are co-ordination, collaboration and professionaldevelopment (PD). Co-ordination and collaboration between local health, education andcommunity initiatives is likely to improve with the recent appointment of a new WAVES co-ordinator. Further EDC support might include:  Providing collaborative tendering funding application workshops.  Establishing criteria for good collaboration, reviewing the ability of smaller organisations to meet those criteria and recognising organisations that do.  Re-instating scholarships for community workers to complete formal PD.  Funding the establishment of mentors and supervisors for community workers.  Producing a hard copy and web-based calendar of professional development opportunities across a range of organisations.  Creating a phone and website “consult-line” (linked by mobile/email/text message to a child advocate or similar) where teachers, nurses, doctors and community workers could ask on-the-spot questions.  Cross-posting data to the “consult line” internet site and the WAVES website.  Funding language specific mainstream media messages.Early childhood:EDC resources could support existing parent training and home visiting programmes andavoid some „falling through the net‟ by providing information to parents about local supportand about alternatives to smacking.  Creating a web-map of early childhood service provision, parent education and early childhood education programmes.  Creating a hard copy directory of early childhood services including parenting courses, home visiting and early childhood education (ECE) with attached information about the repeal of section 59 and helpful hints like “21 practical alternatives to smacking” to be given away at hospitals, clinics, and by home visitors. 44
    • School:Demonstrating the paramountcy of children means showing respect for children and youngpeople, listening to them, and informing them about next steps. This might include:  Producing accessible hard copy wallet cards for students, explaining steps in dealing with abuse and information about what agencies they can contact for help.  Producing a hard copy clear language leaflet/poster that explains the repeal of section 59 and what that means in terms of protection and support (similar to the “21 alternatives to smacking).  Establishing a child-help website providing the above and discussion / FAQ areas  Rewarding young person groups (e.g. in schools) that have developed an effective support strategy for children in the school neighbourhood.  Producing an information booklet for teachers/people working with children re age appropriate child abuse prevention education opportunities available in Waitakere. Include a contact list and planning calendar.  Producing an information leaflet for teachers on handling disclosures, listening and supporting children who seek their help, confidentiality, referral steps and likely outcomes.  Media promotion of schools (e.g. in local newspapers, TV) that have an ongoing child abuse prevention/education strategy.Community:It may be that projects like Twin Streams, Massey Matters and the Ranui Action Project, orothers like them, can increase their focus on encouraging more watchful and activeneighbourhoods, in order to reduce „bystander apathy‟. Possibilities include:  Supporting small neighbourhood-based meeting / education opportunities that include extended family and neighbours.  Creating a large poster map (A1) of service provision with contact number leaflets, for local libraries, community centres, clubs, bus stops, pubs. 45
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