Children’s Commissioner Dr. Russell Wills is a paediatrician who regularly refers children he has concerns about to support services.
The Children’s Action Plan is making it easier for people who are worried about a child to act on those concerns.
Children’s Teams help communities take the lead in identifying vulnerable children, children at risk of abuse and neglect, and work together to help them thrive, achieve and belong.
They are not a new service, they are a new way for professionals and practitioners to work together around one assessment and one plan for each vulnerable child.
In Whangarei, Rotorua, Tairawhiti, Eastern Bay of Plenty, Whanganui Horowhenua/Otaki and Marlborough you can refer a child directly to the Children’s Team.
Our policy is families must consent to be referred to a Children’s Team.
If you’re a professional or practitioner wanting to refer a child, in Hamilton and Christchurch, the Vulnerable Children’s Hub is the first point of contact. Hub staff will establish which pathway is best for the child.
Under Section 15 of the Children, Young Persons and Their Families Act, you can refer a child to the Vulnerable Children’s Hub without engaging with the family.
However it is always good practice to talk with the family first. More often than not, families struggling with issues know it is affecting their children and want to change, and change is more likely if the family is engaged from the start.