Child abuse prevention network, Jigsaw says more emphasis is needed on the important role fathers have to play in nurturing and protecting children.
Jigsaw's Chief Executive (Strategic Relationships) Tau Huirama made his comments today when he addressed the Health Committee Inquiry into preventing child abuse and improving children's health outcomes.
"Children experience better health and social outcomes if their father is engaged and involved in the early years of their lives, yet few men use the parent support services available," Tau says.
"Celebrating the nurturing role of fathers and engaging them more effectively in antenatal and parenting education has the potential to lead to considerable improvements in the wellbeing of New Zealand children," he says.
Tau Huirama also emphasised the need for strong, supportive whanau connections and families to have greater access to whanau-centred services to empower families and help tamariki reach their full potential.
Jigsaw also called for:
Flexible service contracting and funding arrangements to support innovative approaches for engaging 'hard to reach' whanau.
Universal child-centred support provided to all new parents.
Universal, non-stigmatising services (such as Maternity, Plunket or Tamariki Ora services) that take a strengths-based approach usually have the greatest chance of making meaningful contact when there are babies and young children in the household.
Further resourcing and strengthening of the Violence Intervention Programme (VIP) in all New Zealand hospitals.
Further programmes to create awareness of Shaking Baby Syndrome.
The Health sector to be encouraged to always think of our children in the following way "Ahakoa he iti, he pounamu". Although this being is tiny, it is still precious.
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