29 Nov 2011

Police and social workers now in same building

6:33 am on 29 November 2011

Child Youth and Family in Whakatane says there is no more "them and us".

The organisation has now teamed with police working in the same building to improve their response to serious child abuse.

Te Awhiti - which means to be "ever-vigilant" and "watchful" - is the name of the site where victims can come in, be spoken to, helped, and undergo medical examinations.

The facility has interviewing rooms, family areas and kitchens.

Police officers and social workers say there will be a greater sharing of information.

CYF regional director Greg Versalko says joining forces will mean the organisations can be both reactive and pro-active in preventing harm to tamariki.

He says the bringing together of two cultures is always a challenge, and they are both learning a lot from each other.