Aotearoa New Zealand is facing an epidemic of drug and alcohol affected babies. The costs of prenatal exposure to alcohol and other drugs are staggering in terms of destruction to the individual child, their families and to society.
It’s an escalating and ongoing problem with effects that are being compounded by both a lack of research, and a lack of a dedicated facility to provide post birth interim care.
Such a facility is essential to ensure the best possible start in life for vulnerable babies exposed to alcohol and other drugs during pregnancy.
While the requirement is obvious and immediate, there is currently no facility dedicated to the case of babies born with specific dependency needs in New Zealand.
International studies have repeatedly shown that targeted treatment and care provided in the first months of life produces significantly improved outcomes for these babies in later life.
Presently this care and support is not provided or funded by any DHBs or NGOs and the babies are falling through the cracks.
The Petal Foundation (Paediatric Education Transitioning and Love) will be a stand-alone, privately funded facility that will support a programme ensuring at-risk babies receive the care they deserve.
The programme will be undertaken in collaboration with the Auckland health sector.
Petal will cater for new-borns with special needs due to drug and alcohol exposure before birth or needing emergency care. These infants will be referred by government, community and health organisations.
The programme of care would cover
- Assessing babies as they arrive
- Treating their specific needs
- Transitioning them to community or family care
- Supporting them with aftercare
The facility will be set up as a dedicated centre of best practice and education. We are working with universities and medical research teams to ensure that we provide the most appropriate service for New Zealand babies.
Through our work we can improve the emotional, psychological and physical circumstances of medically fragile infants and mitigate the societal and economic costs associated with the condition.
The Pediatric Interim Care Centre (PICC) in Seattle, USA was founded to support drug-affected babies. It is the global leader in rehabilitation and care of medically fragile infants.
PICC provides immediate, short-term medical care between hospital and home for infants suffering from prenatal drug exposure. Since its inception, PICC has supported and transitioned more than 3,200 babies through withdrawal.
The pioneering program also facilitates visitation for families, provides caregiver training, follow-up once babies leave and offers and a range of community outreach and education services.
The service model that Petal Foundation is looking to provide will support the outcomes articulated in the 2013 Tāmaki Regeneration Strategic Framework.
Healthy, Happy Babies
The facility will provide holistic services and supportive environments for babies, contributing to children achieving their full potential. Tāmaki Regeneration will be able to play a facilitating role in working with Petal as a community partner.
The new facility will be designed to fit with the community, capable of use as a centre of care and of reverting to a large family home should future needs of the service change.
The new facility will be built to a high standard to support a clinical use and will provide an additional form of housing diversity in the area.
Two-part facility goal
Petal has a two-part facility goal — (1) Secure land for the care facility through the assistance of Tāmaki Regeneration, and (2) to build a care facility suitable to carry out the Foundation’s vision.
1. Land Project
To acquire a land parcel suitable for the establishment of the Petal Foundation Care Facility with the assistance of Tāmaki Regeneration.
The Tāmaki communities of Glen Innes, Point England and Panmure are welcoming, resilient, vibrant and strong but they are also areas of high social and economic deprivation.
Within the Tāmaki area, Glen Innes has been identified as an appropriate area to establish the facility. Households in Glen Innes are amongst the most deprived in New Zealand with high levels of unemployment, crime, drug and alcohol abuse and health disparities.
The Tāmaki regeneration project aims to promote a thriving and self-reliant community in partnership with government, local council and private sector groups to create brighter futures in the wider Tāmaki area, including Glen Innes.
Petal wishes to be part of this regeneration project through locating the facility within a community with high needs and to be part of a multi-sector approach which is community led to ensure innovative, stable, safe, and sustainable care for vulnerable babies.
Clear and level site of approximately 600 – 1000 sqm, suitable for the establishment of a two-storey facility totalling an internal area approximately of 200 sqm with five car parking spaces.
Permissible under Residential Zones under the Auckland Unitary Plan.
Two funding streams are required for Petal Foundation. The first will be for the capital works required to complete the Stage 1 building plan. Current estimates have the gross funds required to complete this would be circa $1m. Petal is pursuing with builders, architects and suppliers the provision of goods and services in kind to bring the amount of cash required down. We have a foundation sponsor who has indicated they will provide a significant portion of this funding before the end of 2018.
Other businesses and individuals have also indicated willingness to donate to Petal. We have, to date, deferred taking this money until our status as a Charitable Foundation was confirmed. This happened on 14 June 2018.
We are confident we will have sufficient funds to complete the capital works for Stage 1. Excess funding will be transferred to the operational budget.
Our current estimates have the annual full operational cost of Petal as $850,000. This takes no account of the provision of some services from sponsorship agreements, volunteers, donation of disposable goods and furniture.
Funding would be required to be in place by completion of the capital works. This would not be before September 2019.
We are establishing a sponsorship programme with varying levels of partners. Our aim with this programme is to raise guaranteed annual funding of $400,000.
Other fundraising activities that we are assessing include:
- Charity dinners and auctions
- Products being created/manufactured & sold by Petal via Website
- Fund raising at schools – students educated about alcohol & drugs
Make a donation
Donations of volunteer time, goods, services and money are greatly needed and appreciated.
Donations of money can be made to:
- Beneficiary Name:
- Petal Foundation
- Account Number:
- Bank Name:
- ANZ New Zealand Limited
- Bank address:
- 187-193 Broadway, Newmarket,
Auckland, 1023 New Zealand
- Bank Swift Code:
Petal Foundation was incorporated under the Charitable Trusts Act 1957 on 15th Nov 2016. We are a registered charity under the NZ Charities Commission. Our registration number is CC55621.
Any donations made to Petal are tax deductible to the donor and a receipt will be issued.