The number of children being called-in to child protection services by health services and the community is rising. Professor Rhema Vaithianathan of AUT is an author of the new research that shows one in four children are involved with child protection services. She told Kawekōrero today that she was struck by the high rates of notifications to CPS that, people who call up and share their concerns about a child's safety.
"What we did is follow a whole cohort of 1988 birthed children in the administrative data, it was oddly identified but we followed them until they turned 18, and we found one in four of those children would have someone call up and say that they have concerns about their safety and calling CYFS is called a notification," says the Professor.
The report found that roughly 1 in 10 children had suffered abuse or neglect by the age of 17 years. Māori and Pacific children make up almost one-third of New Zealand birth cohorts and these children suffer from higher levels of deprivation and poor health than does the general population of children.
"If our community, if our whānau, doctors and services think there is something of concern I think its good that they call it in.The piece that I wonder about is once we have these families and children turning up at the front door of CYFs how good are we at providing them with the right level of services, what they need to continue to manage to keep their children safe and out of harm's way. "
CPS notifications is 1.4 times higher than incidences of medicated asthma in the country and raises the question if child welfare systems are resourced and organised appropriately,"
" think these sorts of facts from researchers telling the community and the population what the true rates are and the conversation that it elicits from everyone about what we should do about it and how we should respond is where I feel really optimistic," says Viathianathan.