Hello and happy Spring!
This week 6-10 September 2022 is Child Safeguarding week. The purpose of Child Safeguarding Week is to raise awareness, support and educate, and to spread the word about what we can all do to help protect our tamariki. Police often get involved in difficult situations involving children, such as family harm, adolescent mental health, bullying and sometimes just as an initial point of contact when whanau are struggling. It is common for people to feel overwhelmed and unsure where to turn in those situations.
They say it takes a village to raise a child. If you are struggling with your child’s behaviour, there are places to where you can reach out for support. For parents, support and advice is available at the free Parent Help line (0800 568 856). Their website parenthelp.org.nz also has helpful information and strategies around managing challenging behaviours. The Parenting Place (www.parentingplace.nz) is another website with online resources. They also offer courses and parent coaching services. Cambridge Community House (07 8275402) can provide wrap around whanau support and counselling while Lifeskills Cambridge (https://www.cambridgelifeskills.co.nz/) provide free counselling for primary aged children.
Your child’s school – their teacher and the SENCO (special education needs coordinator) may also be able to provide assistance and referrals to CDC (Child development centre) and ICAHMS (Infant, Child & Adolescent Mental Health Service) for assessments, diagnosis and support if appropriate. The Child Development Centre is a child-centred and family-focused service for children who have, or are suspected of having, developmental problems including developmental delay, autism spectrum disorder and neurological disorders etc. ICAHMS provides free support for children up to the age of 18yrs with mental health disorders including anxiety, depression, ADHD etc. If you or your child has autism, support is available from the Waikato branch of Autism NZ (tel (07) 849 2896).
If you are concerned about the general safety of a child, that they are being neglected or abused, call Oranga Tamariki to make a Report of Concern. A RoC provides an opportunity for appropriate whaanau supports to be put in place and for referrals to be made to appropriate local organisations. If there is immediate danger to the child however or they are causing the safety of other family members to be put at risk, you should call Police on 111.
On a different final note, I regularly see people commenting online about the Police station being closed. Please note that our front counter is open 8am -4pm Monday – Friday. Outside of those times, you can use the intercom on the wall beside the front door to contact Police communications directly or you can call 111 or 105 directly from your phone as always. Our front counter is staffed by our hardworking station support officer. Please be assured that just because the public counter may be closed after hours, our Cambridge based staff continue to operate their shifts from the station outside of these times.