Safety of Children in Care Report, January to March 2019 – Oranga Tamariki

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Oranga Tamariki has released its third Safety of Children in Care report.

This report covers the three month period from January to March 2019, in which 103 children were harmed.

In the first report of recorded data, from July to September 2018, 130 children and young people in care had findings of harm. In the second quarter, from October to December 2018, 97 children and young people in care had findings of harm.

This work highlights the importance of understanding harm and the circumstances in which it happens. It enables us to address the harm, and improve the safety of children and young people in care.

Oranga Tamariki Deputy Chief Executive Voices of Children Hoani Lambert says the collection and public reporting of this data is vital.

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“We’re releasing this information because we want to be open, transparent and learn from it. Our goal is to understand the level and nature of the harm and to reduce it.

“The conversations surrounding this are not easy ones to have, but the more people who engage in issues about child safety and wellbeing, the more likely it is that change will happen.”

Most children enter the care of Oranga Tamariki because they have been harmed. In quarter three, like quarter one and quarter two, the data shows us that when we remove children from those harmful situations the vast majority are kept safe. But distressingly, it also shows that for some children there is a continuing risk of harm.

As an organisation Oranga Tamariki has begun to make improvements in how we support children in care, their whānau and caregivers. However, this report shows that we have more work to do.

This harm is caused by a range of people, in a number of settings. The report highlights that different children experience different types of harm, Mr Lambert says.

In every single case, Oranga Tamariki assesses how to proceed and whether to involve another agency, such as Police. Where there were ongoing safety concerns, the child or young person had been removed from the home.

ENDS