The Ministry of Health is sponsoring a National Paediatrics Society training day on child abuse and family violence.
The purpose of the day is to give the 70 expected attendees the skills and knowledge necessary to implement child abuse
and family violence protocols in their district.
The participants will represent every District Health Board's paediatric service and include paediatricians, paediatric
nurses, social workers and child protection co-ordinators.
"The training day is part of the Ministry of Health's response to the James Whakaruru report that recommended health
professionals get training in how to recognise and intervene in child abuse and family violence," said Ministry
spokesman, Dr Pat Tuohy.
Dr Tuohy, Chief Advisor Child and Youth Health, said reducing interpersonal violence was one of the 13 priority areas in
the New Zealand Health Strategy.
"Health care providers are increasingly recognised as key players in New Zealand's effort to eliminate family violence
and, by giving this training, we hope to increase the responsiveness of the sector by helping them to develop
Dr Tuohy said New Zealand will be the first country to have a National Health Policy that integrates intervention for
both mothers and children.
"The Ministry of Health family violence policy states that where one type of abuse is uncovered the other should be
screened for and appropriate interventions put in place.
"We know that there is a high correlation of about 30 to 60 percent between child abuse and abuse of their mothers. Yet
these issues are almost always dealt with separately, with access to assistance and intervention being provided for only
one party and very little work to ensure that access to interventions are found for the other. This leaves children and
their mothers at risk."
Dr Tuohy said it was essential that Paediatric services, as the specialist children's service, have this training and
protocols as part of their basic competencies.
"This training and the follow-up should allow intervention for child abuse and partner abuse to be implemented
consistently across all District Health Boards."
The training day will be held on October 30 at Waipuna Lodge in Auckland.