The impact on Hamilton Abuse Intervention Project of government policy changes-an investigation
Haley, C. R. (2008). The impact on Hamilton Abuse Intervention Project of government policy changes-an investigation (Thesis, Master of Social Sciences (MSocSc)). The University of Waikato, Hamilton, New Zealand. Retrieved from http://hdl.handle.net/10289/2482
Permanent Research Commons link: http://hdl.handle.net/10289/2482
This research investigates the perceptions and viewpoints of staff working for the Hamilton Abuse Intervention Project (HAIP) as to the impact of changes in government policy. Established in 1991 HAIP is a coordinated community response to domestic violence based on the Duluth Model. Over the last two decades governments in New Zealand have introduced policies and strategies to combat violent crime in the community predicated on the understanding that addressing violence within the family/whanau setting will assist in breaking the cycle. This research focuses on the impact of strategies which advocated inter-agency collaboration such as the VIP Pol400 Project (Pol400 Project) established in 2001 with HAIP as the lead agency. (VIP is an abbreviation standing for Violence Intervention Project). The research also set out to test the hypothesis that working within an environment marked by the introduction of policy changes and new strategies has a significant impact upon a social services agency such as HAIP. In view of the inherent complexity of investigating perceptions and viewpoints qualitative methodology was chosen for this research. Ten of the fourteen people employed by HAIP contributed to the research. Semi-structured face to face interviews and the written answers from questionnaires provided a detailed body of information which informed the narrative and descriptions of this study. An outline of relevant legislation, policy initiatives and strategies introduced over the last two decades was provided to give a framework for the study. Each of the respondents commented on issues related to funding and workload. Inadequate funding was seen to be adding to already heavy workload which continued to grow aggravated by the demands of compliance and accountability. Respondents identified some aspects of HAIP which had been affected by lack of adequate funding such as the loss of the 24/7 Crisis Line and difficulties with maintaining the parallel development policy. However, In spite of funding shortfalls respondents noted that HAIP's services continued to expand and examples were given of recent initiatives such as the establishment of home support groups. Several respondents identified the Pol400 Project as being significant development in HAIP's services. Respondents commented on its value in closing gaps in the criminal justice system's response to incidents of family violence. A detailed analysis of the Pol400 Project using archival material and using statistics from the HAIP Pol400 database demonstrated the comprehensive extent of the inter-agency collaboration. The findings of this investigation showed that respondents regarded inadequate funding and increased workload as impacting significantly on their work. However, apart from comments made in relation to some negative impacts on HAIP of the Domestic Violence Act of 1995, respondents rarely made a specific connection between these issues and their relationship to changes in government policies. This study showed that since the Pol400Project began in 2001 reported incidents of family violence and subsequent referrals rose steadily but the data showed a marked increase in activity following the involvement in 2005 of a Family Safety Team. The increase in the intake of reports was attributed, in part, to the police addressing gaps and shortfalls in their own systems. The impact of the Pol400 Project on HAIP was seen, in the main, to be contributing positively to HAIP's role in providing a seamless coordinated community response to family violence.
The University of Waikato
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