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Part two of research series into Child Abuse and Poverty

Child Poverty Action Group launches part two of research series into Child Abuse and Poverty at AGM tomorrow evening.

Child Poverty Action Group will launch 'Child Abuse and Poverty: what are the links?' at its AGM in Auckland tomorrow. The document analyses the data from Child Youth and Family to answer the question 'Child Abuse: what role does poverty play?'

CPAG convenor Assoc. Professor Mike O'Brien says the report is one of the first studies in New Zealand to use information from Child Youth and Family (CYF) to explore child maltreatment and neglect with poverty and deprivation.

The CYF information used in the research draws on publicly available material from the number of abuse notifications received, notifications that were investigated further and those substantiated.

Substantiated cases of child abuse are categorised as emotional, physical, sexual and/or neglect. Information is also available by region and CYF site office.

Assoc. Prof O'Brien says analysis of the data proved a highly complex task for the CPAG research team. It concluded factors contributing to child abuse are multiple and interconnected, and interacts in ways that are not always well understood.

The research supports the proposition that higher rates of child abuse are linked with deprivation. One unexpected result is that higher rates of child abuse appear to be loosely associated with a younger population structure. Contrary to current social policy, CPAG found benefit income does not appear to be related to rates of child abuse.

Given the links between poverty and deprivation with child maltreatment and neglect reducing the risk associated with poverty would be a good starting point," says Assoc. Prof O'Brien.

"Policymakers need to address the broader issues of poverty and its relationship to demographics and peoples' access to decent employment, housing, health and other services."

Early pre-sales of the report has indicated a genuine interest and willingness from many quarters to produce practical and realistic solutions to Child Abuse and Child Poverty says Assoc. Professor O'Brien.


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