Wednesday, July 31, 2013

CPAG report into child abuse disappoints

CPAG has been heralding the release of a new report into child abuse which analyses CYF data. It hasn't gone on-line yet but Stuff has a pre-report. There's nothing of great interest so far and their analysis about the types of abuse and why reports have risen are old hat.

Broken down into types of child abuse over the same time period, sexual abuse accounted for the smallest proportion, at 6.7% of cases.
Emotional abuse was the most common form, at 54.6% on average.
Sexual abuse and neglect was relatively constant during the period, but the number of emotional and physical abuse cases had risen.
CPAG said this could reflect an increase in the number of police and family violence referrals, or the impact of the Ministry of Social Development’s 'It’s not OK' campaign.

Anyone who takes an interest in this area is well acquainted with these 'findings'.


Actually I have found something of interest but CPAG missed it.

According to their report, the following are the areas with the highest rates of child abuse. They don't surprise. None is south of Taupo:

Far North

Last week I blogged about children taken into state care and did express surprise that the numbers were so high in the Southern region.

Children in out of home placements, by region

as at 31 Mar 2013
Northern Region 1,367 1,305 1,234 1,173 1,227 1,195
Midlands Region 816 869 876 744 749 792
Central Region 1,060 1,027 958 801 846 835
Southern Region 1,277 1,204 1,166 1,166 1,062 1,014
Adoptions / Others 2 3 4 1

National Total4,5224,4084,2383,8853,8843,836

Very broadly speaking, it looks like the highest rates of child abuse are in the north, but the highest rate of child removal into state care is in the south. Fascinating.

Perhaps the two things are connected. Where children are removed from risk, abuse rates are lower?


Kiwi Dave said...

Yes - the mis-match of abuse rates and child removals is odd, though I notice the removal figures are raw figures, not rates. Are the four regions comparable in size and age profiles?

Your final question makes good sense, and if this explanation is actually the case, implies that there are significant differences in the institutional cultures of the four regions when dealing with families.

Lindsay Mitchell said...

Kiwi Dave, Off the top of my head, no. We know that population is clustered in the NI and particularly, the Maori/Pacific population in the upper NI.

But I'll compile an OIA request to ascertain what the breakdown is. Thanks for the prompt.