Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | News Video | Crime | Employers | Housing | Immigration | Legal | Local Govt. | Maori | Welfare | Unions | Youth | Search

 

Child abuse prevention an election issue

News release

Child abuse prevention set to become an election issue, says family violence expert

An authority in the prevention of child abuse has urged voters to make family violence an election issue.

Dr Annabel Taylor is chair of the Family Help Trust, and a senior lecturer at the University of Canterbury School of Social Work and Human Services. She has seen a series of developments in the past week drawing attention to child abuse, but says bids by various political parties to score points against each other will do nothing to help children who are the victims of family violence.

“It looks to me as if this could become an important election issue as there is some differentiation between the political parties. That is good as the prevention of family violence is something we all have an important stake in, but not if we lose sight of the victims of abuse at the expense of rhetoric.

“At the weekend, in Waitakere, there was a memorial event for victims of child abuse and family violence; the National Party’s social policy announcements have drawn attention to the issue; a recently released report on child poverty focuses on the fact that 200,000 children in New Zealand live below the poverty line and are therefore at considerably elevated risk of neglect; and CYF has reported a recent rise in reporting of child abuse.

“It is encouraging that notifications have increased, as this appears to indicate a growing intolerance of child abuse and neglect within New Zealand communities, rather than an increase in the incidence of abuse.

“What to do with the children suffering from abuse and neglect is the important next step to take. Early intervention is crucial. Working intensively with high-risk families is the most successfully proven method of reducing the risk, and therefore the incidence, of child abuse. It is the Family Help Trust’s experience that families want to do better, but they need support to do this,” she said.

According to Annabel Taylor, the next step is to ask how much New Zealanders are prepared to invest in caring for the most vulnerable children.

“If the prevention of child abuse is to become an election issue, the focus needs to be on early intervention and prevention activities, not just on publicity and programmes to raise awareness.

“If we are to properly address this problem, at a political level, that is the part that needs to be taken seriously: how do we adequately resource programmes to help those families that are at greatest risk? If voters want to make a real difference, and save or improve the lives of the most vulnerable infants in our community, it is actual, practical early intervention that they must insist those auditioning for government must implement, not just awareness campaigns.

“Early intervention into families at greatest risk of child abuse by professional and scientifically based social work services will improve the statistics that currently put New Zealand to shame. Voters looking at policies from various political parties should ask whether or not these policies will deliver such services,” she said.

Dr Annabel Taylor is a Senior Lecturer at the University of Canterbury School of Social Work and Human Services, where she teaches social policy and social work practice. She is also chair of Christchurch’s Family Help Trust, which provides child abuse prevention services to the most vulnerable infants.

ends

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Another Leader Exiting: Statement From Peter Dunne

I have concluded, based on recent polling, and other soundings I have been taking over the last few weeks, that, the volatility and uncertainty notwithstanding, there is now a mood amongst Ōhāriu voters for a change of MP, which is unlikely to alter...

“I have therefore decided that it is time for me to stand aside, so the people of Ōhāriu can elect a new electorate MP. More>>

 

Gordon Campbell: On Labour’s Campaign Launch

One of the key motifs of Ardern’s speech was her repeated use of the phrase – “Now, what?” Cleverly, that looks like being Labour’s response to National’s ‘steady as it goes’ warning against not putting the economic ‘gains’ at risk. More>>

ALSO:

Lyndon Hood: Social Welfare, Explained

Speaking as someone who has seen better times and nowadays mostly operates by being really annoying and humiliating to deal with, I have some fellow feeling with the current system, so I’ll take this chance to set a few things straight.. More>>

ALSO:

Deregistered: Independent Board Decision On Family First

The Board considers that Family First has a purpose to promote its own particular views about marriage and the traditional family that cannot be determined to be for the public benefit in a way previously accepted as charitable... More>>

ALSO:

Transport Policies: Nats' New $10.5bn Roads Of National Significance

National is committing to the next generation of Roads of National Significance, National Party Transport Spokesperson Simon Bridges says. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On Why Labour Isn’t Responsible For Barnaby Joyce

As a desperate Turnbull government tries to treat the Barnaby Joyce affair as a Pauline Hanson fever dream – blame it on the foreigners! We’re the victims of the dastardly New Zealand Labour Party! – our own government has chosen to further that narrative, and make itself an accomplice. More>>

ALSO:

Rail: Greens Back Tauranga – Hamilton – Auckland Service

The Green Party today announced that it will trial a passenger rail service between Auckland, Hamilton and Tauranga starting in 2019, when it is in government. More>>

ALSO:

Housing: Voluntary Rental Warrant Of Fitness For Wellington

Wellington City Council is partnering with the University of Otago, Wellington, to launch a voluntary Rental Warrant of Fitness for minimum housing standards in Wellington, Mayor Justin Lester has announced. More>>

ALSO:

 
 
 
 
 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

  • PARLIAMENT
  • POLITICS
  • REGIONAL
 
 

Featured InfoPages

Opening the Election