Atawhai utilises innovative research methods and strategies to implement and disseminate developed resources regionally and nationally. We encourage health organisations, community service providers or other system stakeholders to support this work.
Atawhai recognises family violence as a key determinant of ill-health. To prevent future violence and harm, the value of responding to family violence must be explicitly recognised within health care policy and practice. Atawhai is advocating for health sector leadership to support this to occur, along with visibility of the work that is already occurring on the frontline. Explicitly recognising family violence as a key determinant of ill-health will allow for opportunities to support whānau and families before violence occurs.
Atawhai found providers in the clinical setting can struggle in knowing which person, or community service to refer to, while community services rely on referrals to provide help to whānau and families. By growing meaningful connections between professionals across these settings, Atawhai is breaking down barriers to better support family violence responsiveness. When these settings can work together collectively, accountability to whānau health and wellbeing can be shared, reducing the burden of responsibility on individual health professionals.
Atawhai found many primary care professionals experience doubt, uncertainty, frustration, and anger when not knowing what to do, or how to help someone experiencing or using violence. As practitioners, it is important to realise we cannot stop what has happened or know what will happen next. Atawhai advocates for formal clinical and cultural supervision and peer support to improve responsiveness to family violence. It is of critical importance to protect the health and wellbeing of primary care professionals to ensure their capability in caring for others.
Atawhai found there are many health and social care services offering support for family violence in the Bay of Plenty. Yet, knowledge of these services, such as the care provided, eligibility criteria, timeframes, funding, and quality are unknown by many. Keeping referral information up-to-date and connected across primary care settings is a common problem. Rather than centralising information for access in one location, the Atawhai network connects people to information through trusted relationships within the network.