Holding government to account has been a weak element of public administration and especially child protection in New Zealand.
We know that healthy families are at the heart of a healthy society. Being part of a family is the most significant socialising influence in a person’s early life. Given that childhood disadvantage strongly predicts negative adult life outcomes, it’s critical that we understand how our children are impacted by the modern world in which we live.
This submission is in support of the Bill. It includes reasons for increasing the focus on accountability and identifies learnings that might help shape its final form.
In the absence of comparable information from New Zealand, there is no doubt that the evidence, findings and reflections uncovered by the Australian Royal Commission should have a profound effect on thinking about child abuse here.
Child abuse has long been a hidden issue which has affected our ability to respond.
The Australian Royal Commission has released its report into institutional responses to child sexual abuse. The Families Commissioner looks at the lessons we can learn.
Some thoughts on what we need from our social services sector, the limitations imposed upon it and how using evidence and improving numeracy can help.
Our early lives shape much of our life course, and the way we then go on to influence later generations. Families and community play significant parts in this, as does the state, particularly through health, housing, education, justice and income support policies, but also through employment and tax policies and facilitation of social services.
What makes us who we are? How can we know what it takes to ensure that every child gets the best start in life? How can we help policy developers make the best decisions for the wellbeing of Kiwi kids? Our answer is simple but, at the same time, complex: we study them. And we do it over a long period of time.
New Zealand has experienced a nearly constant level of births every decade since 1950, averaging some 600,000 births per decade. This is projected to continue until around 2050. Continue reading