Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | Video | Questions Of the Day | Search


Child abuse and neglect cases down

Child abuse and neglect cases down

Child, Youth and Family statistics show that the number of substantiated cases of child abuse and neglect has dropped since 1999, in spite of an increase in notifications, Child, Youth and Family Minister Ruth Dyson said today.

“Child, Youth and Family is working hard to educate the wider community about child abuse and neglect, and to encourage people to let the department know when they have concerns. The increase in notifications shows that this approach is working, and New Zealanders are taking more responsibility for protecting children and young people.

“However, many calls to the department do not result in a finding of child abuse or neglect after further investigation. In fact, the number of substantiated cases of child abuse and neglect dropped from 9227 to 9083 in the four years to the end of June 2003. This occurred in spite of an increase in both the total population and in the number of notifications.

“Last year, to give a more accurate picture, withdrawn cases were not included in the figures, and for the year ending June 2004, the number of substantiated cases was 8992.”

Ruth Dyson said she had confidence in the strategies and actions the department had put in place to manage the increased number of notifications.

“Child, Youth and Family has made it a top priority to immediately investigate cases of a critical or very urgent nature. Planned changes to the Children, Young Persons and Their Families Act will improve our response to notifications where children and young people are not at immediate risk of harm. This includes giving non-governmental organisations and other approved bodies a role in identifying the care and protection or support needs (if any) of the child or young person, and the services they may need.”

As a result of last year’s baseline review of the department, Ms Dyson said the government had invested an additional $120 million in Child, Youth and Family, and 150 extra social workers were being employed. She said government agencies were also working together more closely to identify and provide interventions for at-risk families.

“New initiatives include the creation of family and community services within the Ministry of Social Development, and family safety teams which are to take a new approach to reducing family violence and protecting children.”

© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Charlotte Graham: Empowering Communities To Act In A Disaster

The year of record-breaking natural disasters means that in the US, as in New Zealand, there’s a conversation happening about how best to run the emergency management sector and what philosophies best engage and protect communities in the event of a crisis.

How much of the responsibility for a community’s safety in a natural disaster is the Government’s, and how much can be left up to the community themselves? And how do we ensure none of our most vulnerable residents are left behind? More>>


CPAG Report: The Further Fraying Of The Welfare Safety Net

New Zealand’s welfare system has undergone a major transformation during the past three decades. This process has seriously thwarted the original intent of the system, which was to provide a decent standard of living for all New Zealanders in times of need... More>>


Signage, Rumble Strips, Barriers: Boost For State Highway Road Safety

Boost for road safety this summer Associate Transport Minister Julie Anne Genter today announced a short term boost in road safety funding this summer and signalled a renewed focus from the Government on introducing safer speed limits. More>>


Risks & Adaptation: Cheaper To Cut Emissions Than Deal With Climate Change

The cost of climate change to New Zealand is still unknown, but a group of experts tasked with plugging the country's information gaps says it will likely be significant and it would be cheaper to cut greenhouse emissions than simply adapting to those changes. More>>


BPS HYEFU WYSIWYG: Labour's Budget Plans, Families Package

“Today we are announcing the full details of the Government’s Families Package. This is paid for by rejecting National’s tax cuts and instead targeting spending at those who need it most. It will lift 88,000 children out of poverty by 2021." More>>





Featured InfoPages