SUPERU: What works for children exposed to family violence?

Another in the Social Policy Evaluation and Research Unit’s ongoing series of What Works reports has been released.

This time it looks at what family violence services are being delivered, how well they work and what the international evidence says on the subject.

There’s not a lot of fat in the report – it’s very focused and summarising any of it seems to come with the caveat that you need the context. With that in mind the key messages are:

  • Witnessing family violence and non-physical violence can be as traumatic as experiencing physical violence but this isn’t reflected in the programs available across New Zealand
  • Oranaga Tamariki’s birth is an opportunity for significant change
  • We need to tailor services to individuals
  • The quality of service provided is important and it needs to be trauma informed
  • Psychotherapy and parenting skills work best
  • We need more evidence about what our NZ programs deliver
  • Graded responses, including considering exposure to violence are needed
  • Resourcing services is an issue

There is a handy section on what people who work directly with families can do on page 17 that’s summarised in this video.

4 pages of references round out the report if you’d like to dig further.


Children’s Action Plan: Feedback Workshops

The Dunedin Council of Social Services is inviting key stakeholders and influencers of the children’s workforce to take part in the next phase of consultation of the Draft Core Competency Framework: A Pre-Workshop Meeting on 3 March and the Workshop on either 5 April or 6 April. The Ministry of Social Development and Children’s Action Plan faculty are leading the conversation, while the Dunedin Council of Social Services is assisting in the coordination of the local meetings. Register for the pre-workshop and workshop no later than 29 February: Workshop Registration

Why We are Developing a Core Competency Framework:
Children have a right to have all their needs met and to be safe from abuse and neglect. A better future for vulnerable children is at the heart of the 2012 Children’s Action Plan, which was informed by submissions from almost 10,000 New Zealanders – including children. The Children’s Action Plan led to the Vulnerable Children Act  and other legislative change in 2014.

Part of that change is better protection of our children. We are enhancing the children’s workforce so that it is responsive and able to recognise and act when something isn’t right. The core competency framework will support children’s workers to better identify, support and protect vulnerable children.

The Framework will not replace existing specialist and professional standards and frameworks. Instead, it will sit alongside and complement these in a way that unifies and reinforces common understandings and ways of working – a common language for supporting, protecting and identifying vulnerable children.

We will get the best results for vulnerable children if our children’s workforce shares open, honest and robust dialogue leading to trust and wide agreement on the best ways forward. We are seeking your experiences, opinions and insights to inform the core competency framework and options for implementation. The Draft Framework will change in response to what we learn from the children’s workforce.

We are asking for your feedback. We plan to consult with you in three ways: a pre-workshop meeting, an electronic survey that will follow the meeting, and then a follow up workshop about the Framework:

Pre-Workshop Engagement Meeting:
You are invited to attend a pre-workshop engagement meeting about the Draft Framework. At this meeting, we will discuss the original vision to improve the lives of vulnerable children – the White Paper for Vulnerable Children. We will talk about how the draft framework has been developed so far, the Draft Framework’s current state, and how you can help improve the next version of the Framework to make sure it’s fit for purpose. This meeting will be offered at two different times; you only need to choose the one that works best for you. Register Here:Workshop Registration

Pre-Workshop Engagement Meeting Timetable
Date Time Venue
Thursday 3 March 2016 8:30 – 9:00 AM     Networking
9:00 – 11:00 AM   Meeting
Dunedin Community House, Alexander McMillan Room,
301 Moray Pl, Dunedin
Thursday 3 March 2016 12:30 – 1:00 PM   Networking
1:00 – 3:00 PM      Meeting
Dunedin Community House, Alexander McMillan Room,
301 Moray Pl, Dunedin

If you have questions, please contact

Gathering your feedback
After you attend the initial meeting, we’ll send you an email to request your feedback via Survey Monkey.

You’re also invited to attend a workshop to discuss your response to the draft framework. Attendees should be able to participate in one of the two offered pre-workshops and one of the three offered workshops.

Register For All Workshops Here by 29 February – SPACES ARE LIMITED:
Workshop Registration

Workshop timetable
Date Time Venue
Tuesday 5 April 2016 9:00 AM – 12:00 PM
Work and Income, Dunedin
Waipori Room
(corner of Castle and St Andrew Streets)
Tuesday 5 April 2016 1:00 PM – 4:00 PM Work and Income, Dunedin
Waipori Room
(corner of Castle and St Andrew Streets)
Wednesday 6 April 2016 9:00 AM – 12:00 PM Work and Income, Dunedin
Waipori Room
(corner of Castle and St Andrew Streets)

We appreciate your valuable time and commitment. Thank you in advance for being a part of this journey to protect and support our vulnerable children/tamariki and whānau. If you have any questions about the Draft Core Competency Framework or the consultation process, please email: If you have any questions about local coordination, please contact Amber Ptak

Finally, we are making every effort to include as many voices as possible in these workshops, but we have likely missed someone. Please do not hesitate to forward this email on to someone who you think may want to join us.

Ngā mihi nui,

Alan Shanks
Executive Officer
Dunedin Council of Social Services

CRM Forum for the Children’s Action Plan

ResizedImage200150-cap-whanau2On Thursday the 24th of July, the Children’s Action Plan alongside, Council of Social Services Dunedin, the Ministry of Social Development and Presbyterian Support Otago, are holding a forum to update the wider community on the Children’s Action Plan.

The Children’s Action Plan works alongside the White Paper, providing a framework to show New Zealand what is being done to protect our children and when. Especially our vulnerable children who are at risk. The plan continues to change, evolving  in response to the needs described by the people of New Zealand.

Murray Williams, the Children’s Action Plan Implementation Team Leader, will share the progress of the action plan as well as it’s Children’s Teams especially in regards to strengthening families.

This will be held at Presbyterian Support Otago, Moray Place from 2pm till 3:30pm.
You can add this to your calendar by clicking here.

New Child Poverty Action Group report on child poverty and health

CPAG has issued the first in its Our Children, Our Choice series of policy recommendation papers.

The report is well referenced and makes a compelling case including nine recommendations to significantly improve the health outcomes of children in poverty.

A key aspect of the report is that we are making a choice about the services available to children and it is these choices that lead to child poverty. This may seem obvious to some but it’s a useful reminder that we can choose to do more.

The media release for the report is a useful summary.

The full report is a 32 page PDF.

Our children, our choice: priorities for policy PDF
Our children, our choice: priorities for policy PDF


Feedback on the Government response to the Health Committee’s Inquiry into Improving Child Health Outcomes and Preventing Child Abuse

Consultations Unpacked – Improving Child Health Outcomes and Preventing Child Abuse

Council of Social Services Dunedin (COSSD) and Dunedin Community Law Centre (DCLC) invite you to joins us at a Community Forum.

12pm to 1:30pm on Friday 28 March 2014 at Dunedin Community House

On Thursday 6 March the Government released its response to the Health Committee’s Inquiry into improving child health outcomes and preventing child abuse with a focus from preconception until three years of age – a number of you may have submitted to the Inquiry.

130 recommendations were made, and the Government has accepted or accepted in part 109, 14 have been noted and seven not accepted.

You can download a background paper including links to articles and papers: Child_Health_Background.

Feedback and questions will be reported back to the Health Select Committee.