Children better protected by Social Workers in Hospitals
Hon Paula Bennett
Minister for Social Development
Associate Minister of Housing
19 March 2013 Media Statement
Vulnerable children better protected by Social Workers in Hospitals initiative
The National Government’s decision to introduce Social Workers in Hospitals is making a difference by better protecting children says Social Development Minister Paula Bennett.
When hospitals admit children or young people they’re concerned about, or have previously been involved with Child, Youth and Family, a social worker engages with the family and hospital staff.
“In six months alone 7386 discussions took place between DHB staff and social workers about families they were worried about. As a result, there have been reports of concern to Child, Youth and Family in 14 per cent of cases.”
“This means, specialist social workers on the frontline are preventing and addressing signs of abuse and neglect,” says Mrs Bennett.
“Social workers are a link between Child, Youth and Family and hospital staff and they help recognise the signs of abuse quickly so a plan of action can be formed to better protect children.”
Feedback from health professionals shows there is a growing confidence about how they can report concerns and social workers are a welcome part of the team at District Health Boards.
The Social Workers in Hospital initiative was introduced in 2009 and now has social workers based in every DHB in the country.
The Children’s Action Plan, part of the White Paper on Vulnerable Paper, is clearly focused on frontline workers working together more.
Every child admitted to hospital
as a result of suspected or confirmed abuse will have a
multi-agency safety plan developed around them before they
are discharged. This plan will ensure the child is kept safe
and all identified needs are met when they return to their
These positive results come as the expansion of Social Workers in Schools continues. All 673 decile 1-3 primary schools across the country and around 131,000 children will have access to a social worker by the end of this year.
To find out more about the Children’s Action Plan visit www.childrensactionplan.govt.nz/