We would like to thank all of our wonderful sponsors, including;
The RATA Foundation, Lotteries, The Christine Taylor Foundation, The ANZ Staff Fund, The Nelson City Council, Perpetual Guardian Nelson, MacDonalds Trust, The Lion Foundation, The Tasman District Council, Nelson Bays Community Fund, Pelorous Trust, The Warehouse Nelson, The Strathlaclan Fund, The Hilda Bottomly Trust and The John Elliot Trust
1. Aims or Mission of the Network
To develop, nurture and support an effective organisation that:
I. Supports women experiencing postnatal depression in a confidential and caring environment
II. Supports families and whanua, liaises with health professionals who have contact with women experiencing postnatal depression
III. Encourages society to change its attitudes towards and become more understanding of women experiencing postnatal depression
The Post Natal Depression Support Network believes:
I. That women who have experienced PND can be appropriately supported through their experience
II. That PND must be recognised and discussed, and that information on PND should be made available to women during pregnancy
III. That PND has a variety of causes and requires a variety of responses
IV. That increased confidence and self-esteem enhances recovery from PND and we must work with clients in a way that facilitates this
V. That we must work to make the client independent of us and that our motivation in supporting women is out of concern for her well-being. We must avoid developing a codependent relationship.
Clients’ autonomy and ongoing health and well-being are the prime motivation of the PND Network
CHILD PROTECTION POLICY
Postnatal Depression Support Network Nelson is committed to recognising and responding to children that are at risk of neglect or abuse. All employees and volunteers have a responsibility to safeguard children; to ensure all practicable steps are taken to contribute to the safety and welfare of children. This policy provides guidance to staff and volunteers on how to identify and respond to concerns about the well-being of a child, including possible abuse or neglect, and takes account of the following documents:
• The organisation’s referral pathways for child protection
• “Safer Organisations, Safer Children” Children’s Action Plan
The interests of the child will be of paramount consideration when any action is taken in response to suspected abuse or neglect. This organisation commits to support the statutory agencies (CFY and the NZ Police) to investigate abuse and will report suspected cases and concerns to these agencies as per the process in this policy.
Our Coordinator will be responsible for the maintenance and annual review of this policy, and the Committee responsible for its approval, in addition to carrying out the responsibilities outlined in this policy. Staff will not assume responsibility beyond the level of their experience and training, and our organisation commits to ensure all staff have adequate training available.
Purpose, scope and principles
Our child protection policy supports our staff to respond appropriately to child protection concerns, including suspected abuse and neglect.
This policy provides a broad framework, including, but not limited to, staff behaviours in response to actual, or suspected child abuse and neglect. It applies to all staff, including volunteers and part-time or temporary roles and contractors. It is intended to protect all children staff may encounter, including siblings, the children of adults accessing our services and any other children our staff may encounter in their role.
As well as guiding staff to make referrals of suspected child abuse and neglect to the statutory agencies, this policy will also help staff to identify and respond to the needs of the many vulnerable children whose wellbeing is of concern, and to enable our staff to report concerns of children that may be at risk in a way that does not compromise the safety of the child.
We recognise that in many cases, the involvement of statutory agencies would be inappropriate and potentially harmful to families/Whanau. Throughout New Zealand, both statutory and non-statutory agencies, such as ourselves, provide a network of mutually supportive services, and it is important we work with these to respond to the needs of vulnerable children and their families/Whanau in a manner which is appropriate to risk and level of need.
Identifying child abuse and neglect
Our approach to identifying abuse or neglect is guided by the following principles:
• We understand that ever situation is different and it’s important to consider all available information about the child and their environment before reaching conclusions
• We understand when we are concerned a child is showing signs of potential abuse or neglect we should talk to someone – we shouldn’t act alone
• While there are different definitions of abuse, the important thing for us to consider is the overall wellbeing and the risk of harm to the child
• It is normal for us to feel uncertain, however, the important thing is that we should be able to recognise when something is wrong, especially if we notice a pattern forming or several signs that make us concerned
• Exposure to intimate partner abuse (IVP) is a form of child abuse and there is a high rate of occurrence between IPV and the physical harm of children
• We recognise the signs of potential abuse; physical signs, developmental delays, emotional abuse/neglect, behavioural concerns and child allegations or disclosure
• We are aware of the signs of potential neglect: physical signs, developmental delays, emotional abuse/neglect, behavioural concerns, neglectful supervision and medical neglect
• Abuse to a child may occur as emotional abuse, verbal abuse, physical abuse, sexual abuse or/and neglect. Definitions and warning signs of these can be found on the New Zealand Governments website: http://childrensactionplan.govt.nz/. It is the responsibility of all our staff and volunteers, to become familiar with this website and the publications available from it
• Staff & volunteers must report all concerns to the coordinator. Where necessary the coordinator is responsible for organising additional supervision in regards to these concerns
• The coordinator, with the support of the staff/supervisor involved (additional supervision should not exceed one session without committee approval) is responsible for contacting the authorities and/or documenting the outcome.
• All Counsellors and Support Workers must have attended Safeguarding Children Seminar or Child Matters CYFS training, of at least Level 1. If the worker has not attended such a course, at the time of their employment/commencement of volunteer role, they will have 6 months to do so
• As soon as a risk or potential risk is identified the support worker/counsellor must notify the coordinator. All support is to cease until the volunteer and coordinator have met to discuss the case. However, if there is immediate and severe risk to the child/children involved, the worker/volunteer is required to call the Police or CYF directly
• The support worker/counsellor and coordinator are to ascertain whether the risk can be managed or whether CYF should be contacted. In order to do this the coordinator can involve a supervisor to come to a decision.
• Where the risk can be managed the coordinator and support worker/counsellor are to draw up management plan. The support worker/counsellor to feedback any changes in the circumstances. Other community support should also be sought to support the parent(s).
• Where there is real risk of the child being emotionally, mentally, physically or sexually abused or neglected, CYF should be notified following the referral pathways for the organisation. If unsure CYF can be contacted anonymously to determine. If the child is in immediate danger then, once again, contact the police straight away
• The parent/caregiver to be informed only if it does not put the child and/or support worker at further risk.
• If appropriate, all other agencies that are involved with the child/mother to be contacted to make them aware of the systems that are in place.
• All meetings and calls are to be documented and kept with the client notes in the office. Keep a record of conversations, times and names.
• If the client wishes to discontinue support, CYF should be notified that support is being withdrawn, and where possible the coordinator and the support worker should close the support with a joint visit, providing there is no risk of safety.
• The Coordinator must report any breaches of this policy to the committee immediately and reported in the monthly report in order that actions or risk assessments maybe undertaken.
• Breaches of this policy may result in disciplinary action under the Code of Conduct.
Confidentiality and Information Sharing
Staff/volunteers should be aware that:
• Under sections 15 and 16 of the Children, Young Persons and their Families Act 1989, any person that believes that a child has been or likely to be, harmed physically, emotionally or sexually, or ill-treated, abused, neglected or deprived, may report the matter to CYF or the Police and provided the report is made in good faith, no civil, criminal or disciplinary proceedings may be bought against them
• When collecting personal information about individuals, it is important to be aware of the requirements of the privacy principles, i.e., the need to collect information directly from the individuals concerned and when doing so, being transparent about the purpose of collecting the information, where it is held, what is compulsory/volunteer information, and that they have a right to request access to and correction of their information
• Staff/volunteers may, however, disclose information under the Privacy Act/Health Information Privacy Code, where there is good reason to do so – such as a serious risk to individual health and safety. Disclosure about ill-treatment or neglect of a child/young person may also be made to CFY or the Police under sections 15 and 16 of the Children, Young Persons and Their Families Act 1989
CULTURAL SAFETY POLICY
• Postnatal Depression Support Network acknowledges the status of Māori as Tangata Whenua; indigenous people of Aotearoa, New Zealand.
• Postnatal Depression Support Network recognises the values, principles and obligations of Te Tiriti O Waitangi, acknowledging Tangata Whenua and Tauiwi as Te Tiriti partners (in accordance with NZAC principles)
• Postnatal Depression Support Network recognises the importance of respecting difference and acknowledging cultural diversity and avoids imposing mono-cultural concepts on Tangata Whenua and other cultural groups.
• When working with clients Postnatal Depression Support Network, encourages and supports people of all cultures to maintain connections with their beliefs and values.
• Acknowledging and taking measures to meet the cultural needs of individuals will assist Postnatal Depression Support Network in its aim to walk alongside them in their journey through postnatal distress and back to wellness.
• Assisting clients back to wellness requires services to be delivered in a way which respect and honour cultural difference.
• Support Workers and Counsellors are encouraged to take a holistic approach to practice based around Te Whare Tapa Whā health model.
• Initial assessment seeks to identify cultural beliefs of clients and work with them accordingly.
Linking clients to Kaupapa Māori, or other cultural services where appropriate