Wednesday, August 19, 2020

Babies taken into care

Two new evidence papers were released by Oranga Tamariki this month. The first calculates the risk of mothers who have a history of care and protection having their own child removed. I've run the numbers through a different calculation to assess population likelihood of a baby being removed based on the following data:

1,050 mothers out of 58,730 means 1.8% - or almost one in fifty 20-28 year-old mothers has a child removed.

If for argument's sake 18%* of all mothers are Maori (10,571) 536 removals means 5% - one in twenty 20-28 Maori mothers has a child removed. 

That's pretty high. One in every small class group.

The second brief looks at reasons why babies are removed:

"A random sample of cases for babies who were aged under 30 days when they were taken into care under s78 of the Oranga Tamariki Act was analysed to determine the reasons they were taken into care

In the sample:

• In cases of maternal alcohol and drug use, 59% involved methamphetamine and 44% involved alcohol

• Overall methampthetamine was a factor in half (49%) of entries to care in the sample

• Substance abuse was present in 65% of cases, and family violence present in 64%

• Neglect/deprivation and emotional abuse were present in over 50% of cases"

* According to the last census 16.5% of the population is Maori. But it is a young population and Maori women tend to become mothers earlier so 18% may be too low. If I entered 23% the percentage of mothers with a baby removal would drop to 4% - one in twenty five.


Jim Rose said...

Much is made of the need for Maori to have their own child protection processes led by iwi and whanau. Well, if they know a way of dealing with methamphetamine addictions, please share with the rest of us

Lindsay Mitchell said...

Well if you were a gang member, wouldn't it to be to encourage them?

Max Ritchie said...

Perhaps we should try tough love? Likely result would be the death of some children but is that the necessary price to demonstrate to those arguing for a By Maori For Maori approach that it won’t work? And apply a WorkSafe standard, so there will be consequences.