Wednesday, July 07, 2021

OT beat-up continues

The RNZ beat-up of Oranga Tamariki continues.

The article opens with:

There have been 40 instances where Oranga Tamariki staff have physically harmed children in their care in the last two-and-a-half years....

Then further in: 

In the latest biannual report, for the six months to December 2020, there were 13 findings of physical harm against children where staff were responsible.

So how do these numbers stack up?

Only at the very end of the coverage do we learn:

The Safety of Children in Care reports showed that Oranga Tamariki staff were not the only people abusing children in care.All up, in the six months to December 2020, there were almost 300 instances of neglect, or emotional, sexual or physical abuse, affecting more than 200 children.

Here is the OT report referenced.

There were 13 findings of physical harm by staff alleged to have caused the harm. 8 children had 8 findings of physical harm within a residential placement. Some allegations against staff happened outside of residential placement and "for a small number of incidents, it was not possible to determine where the incident took place or who caused it." (Hence the variability of numbers)

But lets move on to the bigger picture. The first graph is PHYSICAL harm:

The second is ALL harm (which includes neglect, sexual and emotional) versus proportion of children/youth in each kind of placement:

The children at highest risk of being harmed are those in the return/remain home placement. Least likely are those in a family placement.

Children with findings of harm living in residential placements (4%) was representative of the overall numbers of children in this placement type (4%).

Given the nature of these troubled children and youth, the instances of harm caused by staff do not seem remarkable.