October 11, 2012
Children’s database not going far enough
The director of children’s advocacy group Te Mana Ririki says a proposed database of children doesn’t go far enough.
The Government’s white paper released today includes plans for a database so agencies can share information on children who are at high risk of abuse.
Anton Blank says while that sort of list is likely to include a high number of tamariki Maori, a universal database would work better.
"If we look at the Netherlands for example, all children are registered, which means that when a health professional, a social worker or a doctor or a psychologist has concerns about children, they can alert other professionals who are involved with that child, so it’s not just focusing on a specific group of children but all children, and I think that would be a more efficient system for tracking these families," he says.
Mr Blank says the white paper has a heavy emphasis on enforcement and reporting, but fails to address problems of poverty, drug abuse and mental health that lead to break downs in parenting.