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are particularly worrying in the context of the city’s overall demographics, which show a smaller percentage of people in these age groups.

It is worth reflecting on the extent to which the high level of reporting of challenging behaviour reflects community issues, other than just the rapid growth of this city. Does it, for example, reflect other family issues such as poor mental and general health, family violence, alcohol and drug abuse? Is it indicative of a high degree of economic stress for families in Tauranga? Does the high level of reporting show a growing public awareness of social disorders and disabilities in children? Or does it simply suggest the community has particularly high expectations of child and youth behaviour?

Whatever the reason, addressing the issue of challenging child behaviour, and ensuring these children thrive and grow into positive adults, requires a wide range of services (see Figure 3).

Stock take of services currently supporting families whose children have challenging behaviour


Details of service

Assessment services – provided mostly by specialists working within government agencies

Group Special Education (GSE)(Ministry of Education)

Provides behaviour support plans to approximately 240 pre-schoolers and 260 school-aged children with challenging behaviour each year; six to nine months delay

Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS) (Bay of Plenty DHB)

Provides mental health assessment services to approximately 420 children and young people each year; two to three months delay

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