In 2011, three community nurses in Nelson and a detective from the local child protection team recognised there was a desperate unmet need for child protection training and guidance in New Zealand. The four had vast front line expertise in child protection, family violence and sexual violence.
Lack of training and guidance is a significant barrier to protecting children in need or at risk, and a contributing factor to New Zealand’s poor record on child abuse and neglect. The team quickly recognised that community engagement and mobilisation was crucial. Safeguarding Children was born! The founding team established a registered charity, appointed a skilled and dedicated Board and worked hard to establish funding via philanthropic trusts. The work was done in their own time, after completing busy shifts working as nurses and for the Police. John Parsons, a cyber safety and risk consultant, from Citizen 21 joined us early in our journey and continues to be a supporter of Safeguarding Children. By 2014 our reputation grew and demand increased to the point where they needed to appoint a permanent team member rather than trying to run everything in their spare time after work.
As a well-established charity underpinned by strong governance, Safeguarding Children is able to continue its work through fee-paying services, grants and donations. We employ team members from the Nelson area, as well as talented consultants elsewhere in New Zealand and overseas. We are passionate about collaborations and partnerships to create change. We cannot do this vital mahi alone.
The success of Safeguarding Children is our practical approach to a difficult and emotive subject. Our service and training are delivered by passionate experts in safeguarding and child protection.