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HOPE project adds ACC child safety programme

St John of God Waipuna is delivering the ACC Make Your Home a Safety Zone programme in Christchurch, expanding its range of services for young parents as part of the HOPE social housing programme.

The HOPE programme provides a vital role for vulnerable young parents, supporting access to wrap around services like social work and pregnancy and parenting education services, as well as supporting them to navigate and access housing services via the Ministry of Social Development.

The ACC funded programme aims to improve child safety in New Zealand homes as well as promote injury prevention and child safety to communities. Since March 2019 St John of God Waipuna has provided 19 in-home safety assessments including funded installation of 254 safety devices.

Sieni Afamiliona, HOPE Project Worker, said that the HOPE Project is continuing to provide an essential service in providing safe and stable environment for children in Christchurch.

“We are meeting young parents at a crisis point in life and the support we provide is critical. We’re seeing mums sleeping on couches, eligible for high priority housing, but knocked down the list as they are classified as ‘housed’. With HOPE we can be there, make the calls to MSD, take them to appointments, and support them to access the right service when its needed.“

“If clients have historical issues with government services or have been victims of abuse, the need for one-on-one support is even higher to help navigate government services, especially when it comes to accessing private rentals. A lot of our clients don’t have rental references or even know they are eligible for rental supplements, they don’t have the resources to pay deposits or have the tools to put themselves forward in the right way. We work closely with leasing agents and providers alongside our clients to create solutions that work for everyone.”

ACC SafekidsAlong with the managed installation of safety equipment like child safety gates and furniture brackets, the HOPE team is uniquely placed to support families with injury prevention and health promotion advice relating to child safety.

“My favourite part of the ACC programme is going in and delivering the in-home assessments. The safety devices we are installing are incredible, and hugely invaluable, but the ability to get in and deliver incidental community health advice around child safety is an amazing opportunity.”

Another significant aspect of HOPE is linking clients with social workers and wrap around support services at Waipuna. The Young Parents Development Team are also able to support young parents with individual social work support as well as pregnancy and parenting education courses available at the site.

The HOPE Social Housing Programme receives philanthropic funding from a number of funders including the Diocese Hoatu Fund and the Tindall Foundation.

Make Your Home a Safety Zone programme

Safekids Aotearoa provides valuable information, services and advice to government agencies, territorial authorities, Well Child providers, health professionals, private industry, media, educators and families.

The ACC funded Make Your Home a Safety Zone programme is a partnership programme helping to improve child safety in the home. Partnership providers including St John of God Waipuna work with whānau in their homes to reach the programme goal of over 4000 families receiving: home and child safety education; provision of child safety devices; and installation of child safety devices.

The essential nature of this programme in Aotearoa is true for all children, and especially highlighted via injury prevention data relating to Tamariki Maori and Pacific children including:

  • Around two-thirds (65%) of all unintentional injury deaths for tamariki Māori, and three out of five (61%) Pacific unintentional injury deaths occurred in the home.1,2
  • Nearly three out of four unintentional injury deaths (73%) were to children aged 0 to 4 years. 1
  • Tamariki Māori aged 0 to 4 years accounted for nine out of ten (92%) unintentional injury deaths in the home. 1

 

References

  1. Safekids Aotearoa; Tamariki Māori unintentional injuries: factsheet [2017], http://www.safekids.nz/Portals/0/Documents/Resources/Maori/Safekids_Factsheet_Maori_child_Injuries.pdf
  2. Safekids Aotearoa; Pacific child unintentional injuries: factsheet [2017], http://www.safekids.nz/Portals/0/Documents/Resources/Pacific/Safekids_Factsheet_Pacific_Child_Injuries.pdf