25 November 2016
Family violence screening among the highest in the country
A ‘back to basics’ approach at the Wellington Children’s Hospital has resulted in a leap in Capital & Coast DHB’s (CCDHB) family violence screening rates, which are now among the highest of any DHB around the country.
Under CCDHB’s Violence Intervention Programme (VIP), the parents or caregivers of children brought in to hospital are asked about violence in the home.
If they disclose that they are subject to violence by their partner, a safety assessment is undertaken and help is offered to ensure the parent and the children are kept safe.
“The country’s highest screening rate in a paediatric setting is 75%, but ward 2 at the Wellington Children’s Hospital is now over 80%,” said VIP coordinator Rob Veale.
“This is a huge leap from our previous rates of 30-40% – on a par with many other DHBs – and was driven by staff, particularly nurses, who saw both a need and an opportunity to improve processes and help more families.”
New Zealand Family Violence Clearinghouse figures show Police carried out 110,114 family violence investigations in 2015. Police recorded six homicides by an intimate partner, and 10 children and young people were killed by a family member, that year.
“Asking about family violence can be confronting for staff,” said child health nurse educator Victoria Hollier.
“Reviewing and simplifying the process – together with education and support – has enabled us to make it easier for staff to do this.
“Parents appreciate us asking the question, as they know family violence is a big problem in New Zealand that affects the whole family’s health and wellbeing.”