Since the start of 2021 we have been expanding our staff to accommodate the growing wait list of clients. The demand for existing services is growing, partly as a result of COVID-19 and partly as we are expanding our services, including a new contract to work with children who have witnessed violence. Three new clinicians are already on board and this week we are welcoming Georgina White, who we will introduce in more detail next time. Additional funding from MSD through Oranga Tamariki has helped us meet this growing need – we are grateful for this!
Help us welcome Jane Brash who is working with self-referring children in Nelson and Motueka who have witnessed or experienced family violence. Jane is spending 20 hours a week working for us and in her off-time she continues a private practice. With her extensive background working with families as a counsellor for Perinatal Support Nelson and her training in the Circle of Security (COS) Attachment Model, Jane is focused on child-centered play therapy. Child-centered play therapy is an internationally recognised developmentally responsive form of play therapy for children aged between 2-13 years. A child-centered play therapist works in a deeply respectful manner that helps children express experiences and feelings. We are delighted to be able to offer this to our young clients.
Diane has also joined us a few months ago and she is predominantly working with our Non-Violence Programme. She recently moved from Hawkes Bay after spending nearly two decades with Dove Hawkes Bay as a facilitator for non-violence and adult safety programmes and then as a clinical leader. Part of her time there in 2019 was to help MOJ and MSD with an initiative to test and further develop a new service that responded to people who were served a Police Safety Order by engaging with them, their whānau, and the support agencies in place to provide support. Welcome Di!
Finally, we say hello to Pegeen O’Rourke, who many of you will know, who is going to manage our FVIARS (Family Violence Interagency Response System) in Nelson. As you will have read in this issue of the newsletter, there is a daily SAM meeting and Pegeen will both attend these meetings and manage all case follow-ups for us. Her professional experience is closely suited to this role, as she has worked in the Courts and Corrections for many years and worked for ten years as a family violence coordinator for NZ Police. She has just started with us after the Easter holiday and is getting her feet under her quickly, working alongside Joelene Whitfield, who has been in this role for many years.
It’s great that we have the ability to expand our team in this time of high need. Please welcome Jane, Di, Pegeen, and Georgina when you next come across them.