Improving maternity and early parenting support.
Improving maternity and early parenting support is one of the four drivers of crime priority areas. An inter-agency group, made up of officials from the Ministry of Social Development, Ministry of Health, Ministry of Education, Te Puni Kōkiri and the Ministry of Justice work on the issues.
The group is working on improving the quantity, quality and effectiveness of maternity and early parenting support services - particularly for those most at risk.
Improve maternity and early parenting support.
The first three years of a child’s life are critical to their development. The inter-agency group seeks to support children to get the best start in life, by ensuring that families and children most at risk of poor life outcomes - including criminal offending and victimisation - receive effective maternity and early parenting support services.
A good start in life can build resilience for the child and family, protecting a child against risk factors.
During 2010 the improving maternity and early parenting support inter-agency group focused on:
- understanding links between maternity and early parenting support services
- identifying who is using these services and who may be missing out. Māori are less likely to use maternity and Well Child services, and are over-represented amongst those who are most at risk of poor life outcomes.
The group has identified opportunities to improve links between services, for example using integrated needs assessment or better information about available providers. This provides a solid base to tailor services and improve access to get better results for families and children.
Action is underway to ensure that individuals and families don’t miss out when moving between services. For example:
- Ministry of Health is improving maternity and child health services by developing nationally standardised maternity notes that can be transferred electronically, and a maternity and WellChild needs assessment and care planning tool
- Ministry of Social Development is doing more to support vulnerable teenage parents by increasing the number of intensive case workers and improving intensive home-based support services
- Ministry of Education is working to improve participation in early childhood education in the communities with the lowest participation rates
- Te Puni Kōkiri has two new initiatives to support children and whānau (Kaitoko Whānau and Oranga Whānau) and is working with other agencies to ensure greater engagement with hard to reach whānau.
Work of the inter-agency group is now focused on implementing these improvements.