Saturday, August 01, 2015

DomPost beat-up

My previous post discussed the DomPost coverage of a paper they appear to have acquired under the OIA. Yesterday the editor pushed on with the "lab rat" line, maintaining

This blur of bureaucratic words does not seem to include a denial that the officials proposed to watch the at-risk kids and not intervene even if they were abused. It is hard to believe that any official would ever contemplate such a thing.

Here is the excerpt the DomPost released.

There was nothing in statement 40 to indicate no intervention was proposed. So I requested the paper. I needn't have bothered. MSD has just released on their website.

Here is a prior paragraph.

The predictive modelling (PM) score (calculated using various factors like older siblings having had contact with CYF) would identify a small group whose outcomes and service contacts would be observed.  How far from "not intervene even if they were abused" is that?


The vulnerable group would be experiencing far greater oversight than under the usual scheme of things.

And further

That is what the Minister is outraged by. A child could be officially 'flagged' as at high-risk of maltreatment but nothing proactive is done about it. At least not during the study period.

Isn't that pretty much what happens now? Children are unofficially identified or recognised by health  maternity nurses, Plunket, district nurses, family, GPs as high risk but there is no referral or report to CYF until something actually happens.

The DomPost take on this issue is a disgraceful beat-up. Reminder of what they wrote Thursday

documents show officials had sought ethical approval for one study which involved risk-rating a group of newborns and not intervening in high-risk cases, to check whether their predictions came true.

And reminder of what Tolley now plans

Tolley also appeared to signal a major backdown on a proposed population-wide application of the model, saying it was "unlikely" to be used on children that had not already been notified to Child Youth and Family (CYF).

There is no need for a population-wide application. But the plan was to identify only those who were at the greatest risk. Tolley won't agree to progressing this (despite agreement from other groups involved in the whole exercise for much longer).


Mark Hubbard said...

On this (apologies beforehand, though you've said in the past you don't mind too much related link-spamming) my own old post 'Taking Down the Dom' to show your example is not a one off, and that the Dom is a dreadful agenda-led communist (& I mean communist) rag, that could only come out of Wellington:

I don't know why people buy the damned thing.

Anonymous said...

Just for clarification. Midwives have a close relationship with women, babies and whanau up to 6 wks post birth. The term "maternity nurse" is outdated as midwifery is a speciality in its own right.

Midwives are uniquely placed to identify at risk babies and do involve other agencies, even prior to birth.

The problem of lack of parenting ability is generational and whanau need to be made accountable. We only need to look at the recent case of Mr Kumar who was murdered by a 13 yr old. A lack of responsibility from the parents and whanau.

Paranormal said...

Lindsay how was the study evaluating the accuracy of the PM? Would it not be using interventions as the indicator?

Lindsay Mitchell said...

That's how it was done originally (and retrospectively). Researchers looked back at the records of children and made matches between those who had contact with both WINZ and CYF. I heard the professor who did the first modelling talking on RNZ (and is now doing the same work in the US). She couldn't understand why MSD needed to do prospective modelling. I'm not either. But officials wanted to test the accuracy in'real time'. It was a study going forward rather than looking backwards.

I heard reports that family of the 14 yr-old you mention were in court at his sentencing last week calling out, "We love you baby". I immediately reflected, bit bloody late now.
Thanks for your comment and I do know midwives can involve agencies but from my experience as a social services volunteer, it still seems like radical intervention only follows a criminal act. The situation is improving re information sharing and help available but as you will know, it's almost impossible to intervene in an effective way in families that don't want it.