Some home truths

about child protection

When it comes to child protection in New Zealand, it is time to lay the corporate warrior and troubled Pākehā conscience to rest, writes Dr Ian Hyslop 

The intent of this article is to provide some wider background and context to the current critique of child protection policy and practice within Oranga Tamariki. The theory and practice of child protection social work is challenging, but it is not as complicated as it is often made out to be. The following, in brief, is a summary of how the story has played out so far.

Since the ‘re-discovery’ of child physical abuse by the American paediatrician Henry Kempe and his research team in 1962, we have seen the growth of investigative child welfare bureaucracies across the Anglophone world. In the public mind, social work and forensic child protection practice have become largely synonymous. In recent times there has been increasing criticism of this narrow approach to the social problem of child maltreatment. It often has serious unintended consequences and has not worked well for indigenous populations anywhere in the world: destructive racist outcomes are produced.

Link to full article: https://www.newsroom.co.nz/ideasroom/some-home-truths-about-child-protection


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