Anti-social behaviour plan could target three-year-olds

The Press 29 September 2007
Plans to screen and treat children as young as three are part of new Government plans to cut anti-social behaviour. The six-year multi-agency plan has been developed by the ministries of education, health and social development and is designed to increase the number of children getting help for severe anti-social behaviour and conduct disorder. It is estimated that up to 5 per cent of primary and intermediate pupils have problems with conduct or display severe anti-social behaviour…The plan proposes developing systematic screening for three to seven-year-olds within the education sector. Treatment plans would include parenting classes and education for teachers on how to deal with disruptive children, as well as a “behaviour change programme” for the child….Family First director Bob McCoskrie said the Government needed to back up its words with actions. `There are plenty of organisations out there who are working with these people and know them and what they are looking for.” He said he had similar concerns about the plan to those he had had about Children’s Commissioner Cindy Kiro’s plan to screen all families for signs of abuse. “We need to be targeting that percentage of high-risk families we know about rather than trying to criminalise all families.”

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