Parents ‘scared’ of seeking help

NZ City 29 November 2010
It’s claimed good parents are becoming paranoid about seeking help for fear of being accused of abuse. A district court judge and a former Health and Disability commissioner have both criticised Starship Hospital for the way they’ve dealt with recent cases of suspected abuse. Family First national director, Bob McCoskrie, says a Families Commission study in Masterton found some parents didn’t ask for help with parenting or after genuine injuries occurred. He says that’s because they were afraid state agencies would treat them with suspicion or overreact. Mr McCoskrie says parents are scared of seeking help and getting assistance because they’re worried they are going to come under suspicion and have huge upheaval in their families. He says you generally know the families who are at risk and those are the ones we should be monitoring, rather than targeting every parent who turns up to hospital with a child who’s injured from playing on the swing.

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