“Our team is passionate and enthusiastic about engaging with our whānau in a different way. We are very excited and humbled by the community response.” – Donna Poynton, Eastern Bay of Plenty Children’s Team Director
If you are concerned about a child (unborn to 18) you can refer them to the Children’s Team. Referrals to the Children’s Team can be made by agencies, practitioners (e.g. teachers and nurses), friends or the families themselves. We do not accept anonymous referrals and the family must verbally consent to the referral being completed. Read more about referring to Children's Teams.
To refer a child to the Eastern Bay of Plenty Children’s Team:
Please do not email the referral form with any personal information about the child or family/whānau. The forms should be in a sealed envelope, addressed to the Children’s Team and marked ‘Private and Confidential’.
Then drop the completed form off to our office at 24 Pyne Street. Alternatively, you can also email or call for a member of our team to come and collect it.
The Eastern Bay of Plenty Children’s Team covers the area from Matata in the west, to Waihau Bay in the East, and to Minginui in the south. Main communities in the area are Whakatane, Opotiki, Edgecumbe and Kawerau. View a map of the Children's Team boundaries [PDF, 1.4 MB].
Social Development Minister Anne Tolley launched the Eastern Bay of Plenty Children’s Team on 30 October 2015.
The Whakatane District Council hosted around 80 guests at the launch, including Whakatane Deputy Mayor Judy Turner, Ministry of Justice Chief Executive Andrew Bridgeman, Ministry of Health Deputy Director-General Māori Health Teresa Wall, and local iwi and community leaders.
Around 400 vulnerable children will be eligible for the Eastern Bay of Plenty Children’s Team. These are children who don’t quite reach the threshold for statutory care, but who have multiple and complex unmet needs. The Children’s Team wants to identify them earlier, and support them before their situation gets worse.
Children’s Teams put the child at the centre. They are not a new service, but are leading the way for a safer and more competent children’s workforce to work together in a fundamentally different way to support vulnerable children.
Lead Professionals in the Eastern Bay of Plenty Team come from CCS, Rural Education Activities Programme (REAP), Ministry of Education, Bay of Plenty District Health Board, Tuwharetoa Ki Kawerau Health and Social Services, Whakaatu Whanaunga, Whakatohea Iwi Social and Health Services, Tuhoe Hauora and Family Works.
They are ready to support vulnerable children and their families with one coordinated plan.
Minister Tolley chatting with Children’s Team Director Donna Poynton, and National Children’s Director Sue Mackwell
Kura kaupapa Kapa Haka group performing at the launch.
The Eastern Bay of Plenty Children’s Team are Children’s Team Director, Donna Poynton, Team Administrator Ani Nuku and Workforce Lead George Brown.
Pictured right is Donna, George and Sue Mackwell, National Children’s Director.
Donna worked with Relationships Aotearoa as a senior practitioner from 2007-2012 delivering a range of services across the Bay of Plenty and then as the Manager Clinical Services from 2012-2015 managing the delivery of services across the Waikato Hauraki and Rotorua areas. Donna has specific expertise in the areas of domestic violence, family therapy, clinical supervision and facilitation.
Donna is of Ngati Pikiao, Ngati Makino and Ngaiterangi descent through her father’s line and of Irish English descent on her mother’s side.
To contact Donna, email: Donna.Poynton@childrensactionplan.govt.nz
The Eastern Bay of Plenty Children’s Team’s Local Governance Group is comprised of key representatives from the local community, government agencies, non-government organisations and iwi. This group of community leaders ensures the Children’s Team Director has the resources necessary to address the needs of the vulnerable children and their family/whānau across the local community.
Eastern Bay of Plenty Local Governance Group members are:
The Eastern Bay of Plenty Children’s Team panel is made up of a range of sector experts and practitioners who are responsible for reviewing referrals, assigning a Lead Professional to coordinate work with the child and their family, and approving and monitoring the progress against the Child’s Plan.
The Eastern Bay of Plenty Children’s Team panel members are: