Children labelled 'at risk' before birth
Thu, 11 Oct 2012 6:18p.m.
By Brook Sabin
The Government is set to label thousands of children at risk of child abuse, before they're even born.
The revelation came today as Social Development Minister Paula Bennett released a white paper outlining sweeping changes aimed at bringing the rate of abuse down.
New Zealand has one of the highest rates of child abuse in the developed world, and Ms Bennett says she has had enough.
“What should horrify us the most is the number of children who have died,” she says.
On average, it's 10 children a year that are abused or neglected to the point of death. The white paper released today includes 30 measures aimed at making serious inroads into child abuse.
But Labour MP Jacinda Ardern says that’s not enough.
“Overwhelmingly we've been let down by this white paper,” she says. “It doesn't do anything to address the huge number of children, particularly in poverty who really need us to respond and assist them today.”
The measures also include a risk predictor tool, which has already identified 20,000 to 30,000 vulnerable children. But 3 News has discovered that only children of beneficiaries are counted – and 70 percent of them are labelled ‘at risk’ at or before birth.
“Quite frankly poverty is not an excuse to abuse your children,” says Ms Bennett. “In most cases we'll be getting it right, in some cases we won't be.”
Greens co-leader Metiria Turei says the targeting of beneficiaries won’t work.
“The very tight targeting of beneficiaries means children who are at risk of maltreatment, of sexual assault, of violence and deaths, will be missed by her plan.”
The goal is to eventually use the risk predictor on all births, but beneficiaries are currently in the cross-hairs because the Government says the statistics show they're the biggest abusers.
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19/10/2012 4:51:28 p.m.
@ shadoe I don't believe in conspiracies as you seem to, I am just wishing for a solution to the problem of child abuse in this country.
15/10/2012 9:07:12 a.m.
Are these labels going to be printed out from the kiosks at the WINZ office. Press any random button and you can get stickers to slap on all the little kiddies in the waiting area. The put them on a conveyor belt for the new adoption laws
15/10/2012 8:39:48 a.m.
like your comments marcus.
13/10/2012 5:20:29 p.m.
When I see things like child abuse occur I wonder why it happens.
What conditions is causing people to behave in such a manner.
Surely if New Zealand was managed with human welling in its intent we would see a decrease in crime an decrease is police an decrease in surveillance and an decrease tragedies resulting in more big brother surveillance.
Beneficiaries are the biggest abusers according to statistics so that tells me poor people are more like to become violent and abusive.
Why is that though?
Is it the stress from not being able to afford living costs that keep rising?
Is it a feeling of self loathing from a society that thinks of them as dead beats and good for nothing and drains on society dragging it down into a filthy black hole.
Maybe we as a people need to start thinking far more critically about society if we are to improve it for everyone we NEED to do it for our future generations.
Something I'm certain no one is thinking about but I urge people to do so.
Do you want to live free and happy to follow your hearts desires?
Do you want to see a world without suffering?
Do you want to see a world without crime?
Do you want to see an world without war?
Do you want to see an world without hunger?
Do you want to live in a world where people can walk down the street and know if someone speaks to them they don't have an secret agenda?
Do you want to live in a world where doors need no locks?
Do you want your children to live in this world?
Can society operate without money or trade?
Really think about it.
13/10/2012 11:56:58 a.m.
tin man wrote:
@ Mary#: you highlight something very important. WINZ staff behaviours and abuse towards "clients" particularly Mums , in front of their children is extremely psychologically damaging. As is being actively and loudly refused support by any govt services. Including hospital A&E
13/10/2012 10:09:57 a.m.
@Wiseacre, well said, that's exactly how it works and ChristineC, it's a pity people don't have a pass an IQ test before they vote. This whole thing smacks of 'Pre-Crime' to me.
13/10/2012 8:42:13 a.m.
Poverty isn't an excuse to abuse anyone, not just children but there is a link between cumulative stress.
Sam the starvation beneficiary will be highlighting the difficulty beneficiaries have when dealing with Work and Income. I hope the Minister responds to any suggestions he makes, or at least tries to solve problems that beneficiaries face when dealing with Work and Income.
12/10/2012 8:13:47 p.m.
I'll be voting for National on the strength of this white paper alone.
12/10/2012 8:29:29 a.m.
@Wiseacre: Spot on. That is exactly what this govt is doing. But their days are numbered.
12/10/2012 7:26:36 a.m.
So, according to National, if you're a beneficiary, chances are you're an abuser.
This is so typical of our self-entitled *elite*.
They establish a permanent underclass by entrenching poverty in this country, requiring a certain *acceptable* level of unemployment to provide an increasingly cheaper pool of exploitable labour as desperate people are forced to compete for low paid work, driving wages ever lower in a race to the bottom.
They then isolate this group they've created, dehumanise them and blame them for their woes, creating a scapegoat for the social disaster of global free-market capitalism.
Then they bitch about being taxed to pay for social services.
Without a credible plan to create jobs & raise standards for all, this is just stigmatising & scapegoating the most vulnerable & disadvantaged.
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