Tauranga organisation footsteps is prompting parents to make sure their children are left in the care of someone they can trust, following the coroner’s latest decision on the Kahui inquest.
Coroner Garry Evans found three-month-old twins Chris and Cru Kahui died while in the sole custody, care and control of their father, Chris Kahui.
According to the coroner’s report, Chris and Cru sustained traumatic brain injuries during the afternoon or early evening of June 12, 2006.
In a New Zealand first, early childhood provider footsteps gained Child Matters certification, qualifying the organisation to train its own staff in child protection.
The early childhood education provider has trained all 65 staff to ensure they are able to provide a safe environment for children.
Founder and director Kevin Christie says at footsteps the philosophy is an attitude of care.
“This is not merely about saying ‘we care’ but actually doing something about it.
“That’s why, in conjunction with Child Matters (a national child welfare organisation), we have put a robust plan into place to train every staff member in child abuse prevention. We believe there should be zero tolerance when it comes to child abuse.”
He says that’s why they encourage all their people to go through training so they can identify child abuse and know how to act when they suspect it.
“In light of the coroner’s decision on the Kahui inquest, all parents should be asking themselves if the people they are leaving their children with are safe.
“In footsteps’ case, we’ve gone the extra mile to make children’s safety paramount. But, more than that, our commitment through this training means our teachers will be vigilant about preventing child abuse while they are in out in the community.”
While Child Matter has been training professionals working with children in recognising and responding to child abuse for more than 18 years, this is the first time it has certified an organisation to train its own staff.