A new shared facility between Police and Child, Youth and Family in Whakatane will ensure that child victims in the area receive the best care and protection, Police Minister Judith Collins said.
The new facility, which opened today, is the latest shared agency centre dedicated to reducing child abuse, bringing perpetrators to justice and keeping victims safe.
Over the past decade multi-agency centres or co-locations have opened in Auckland, Counties-Manukau, Hamilton, Tauranga, Whanganui and Petone.
“Today we celebrate the coming together of two agencies that care deeply about protecting children,” Ms Collins said.
“Police and Child, Youth and Family deal with the horrors of child abuse every day. What has become clear is that there are significant benefits for victims of child abuse in having agencies under one roof.
“This approach puts more information at the fingertips of those who can help child victims, and it puts the needs of these victims at the centre of the work these agencies do together.
“These partnerships also provide a vital link from these agencies back to the many community groups that work so hard to provide ongoing support to our most vulnerable victims.”
In April last year a Child Protection Protocol was implemented between Police and CYF. The purpose of the protocol was to set out the processes for working together when responding to serious child abuse.
Ms Collins said child abuse is a problem that requires the expertise, knowledge and resources of a wide range of agencies, organisations and individuals to address.
“This facility shows the commitment of Police and CYF to better deal with child abuse. It represents a promise to our children that we will stand by them, we will protect them and we will seek justice for them.”