Minister Launches "Recognition of Child Abuse and Neglect" Book for Social Workers

  • Roger Sowry
Social Welfare

A new resource for social workers launched today by the Minister of Social Welfare, Roger Sowry breaks new ground in New Zealand and internationally in the field of investigating abuse and neglect.

The Recognition of Child Abuse and Neglect book, 'Tirohanga Tukino Tamariki', breaks new ground by encouraging social workers investigating child abuse to look first for the signs of abuse and neglect before categorising the type of abuse that may have occurred.

"Traditionally, child abuse and neglect has been investigated by an abuse type, such as physical or sexual, and then gone on to explore the signs relating to that type of abuse. This had potential to narrowly focus an investigation.

"The book will be issued to every social worker within the Children, Young Persons and their Families Service and will be used as a training resource. It will be an invaluable guide for social workers for all investigations of abuse and neglect of children," says Mr Sowry.

This material will also be published in CYPFS' 'Breaking the Cycle: An interagency Guide to Child Abuse' book for distribution to others in the child protection network such as schools, doctors, refuge workers etc.

The book is the result of nearly two years study and consultation with health professionals, social workers, and community and cultural advisory groups. It is the first of its kind to include reference to cultural practices that can sometimes be confusing to social workers.

"This resource, together with the Breaking the Cycle campaign will not only raise awareness of abuse but will give New Zealanders the confidence to act to eliminate abuse on children in our communities," says Mr Sowry.