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Good Changes To Family Start Referral Criteria

Families/whānau with high needs can now be referred to Family Start as soon as the expectant mother has her pregnancy confirmed. Pregnant women meeting the

Family Start criteria will have a high level of need. Engaging and establishing a rapport with them and their families/whānau early on in their pregnancy provides an ideal opportunity to influence positive change. Previously referrals could only be made from the second trimester of pregnancy.

Additional referral criteria

‘Short inter-pregnancy intervals’ has been added to the list of Family Start referral criteria. Research shows that infants born into families where short inter-pregnancy intervals exist can be at significant risk of suffering an abusive head trauma i.e. violent shaking or blunt impact. In the same way that having multiple births can contribute to stress in the home, having several young children born close together presents its own set of risks. Family Start will be able to support these families/whānau and connect them with the services they need.

To read more about these and other updates from Oranga Tamariki, open or download their latest newsletter here: Making Connection Newsletter #3

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