Parents’ plight as Plunket limps on

Rotorua Daily Post 13 September 2007
Rotorua mums are in danger of losing much-needed Plunket support services due to a critical shortage of volunteers. The crisis comes at a time when the need for support services to help parents develop good parenting skills is being highlighted following the death of abused Rotorua toddler Nia Glassie. Every year Plunket provides services to 1200 Rotorua families. It receives half of the funding it needs to run its services from the Government which covers nurses and their services. The organisation relies on volunteers for the rest, including support groups, liaising with Plunket nurses and fundraising.In Rotorua the organisation is down to 10 volunteers but needs at least 20 and and unless it can find more, says some support services will have to be axed. “The situation has become quite critical,” Rotorua Plunket president Tracy Blackledge said. Government funding covered Plunket nurses’ wages but it had to raise money to help cover wages of other staff such as its community support co-ordinator, parenting co-ordinator and appeals co-ordinator, plus money for support groups and the purchase of child car seats. Last year Rotorua Plunket raised about $30,000 to help cover these costs.