Rotorua Daily Post August 27, 2011
ANY closer monitoring of children in New Zealand should be aimed at families identified as being at risk. That’s according to Central North Island Kindergarten Association chief executive Jan Ballantyne, who is welcoming Rotorua coroner Dr Wallace Bain’s call for random checks on children from birth to the age of 5. However, she says this need not happen with all families, only those deemed to be at risk. ….
Family First national director Bob McCoskrie also says the focus should be on dysfunctional families where there are obvious risk factors and a history of dysfunction. “It is an absolute waste of resources and time to monitor families where there are no concerns about the physical or emotional needs of families and their children.” About 90 per cent of New Zealand families wouldn’t need monitoring. “How many times in abuse cases have we heard the family was known to CYF? “It is families where there is family breakdown and instability, drug and alcohol abuse, low maternal age, mental illness, previous family violence – all the risk factors highlighted in reports over the past decade on child abuse – who we should be monitoring.”