August 02, 2013
Youth a factor in child abuse analysis
The Child Poverty Action Group says policymakers need to look more at poverty and demographics when considering taking action to address child abuse.
The group has released a new report on links between poverty and child abuse.
Convenor Mike O’Brien says there is too much finger-pointing at Māori and Pacific communities, when analysis of Child Youth and Family data shows poverty is a significant factor in child maltreatment and neglect.
Researchers were also surprised to find the age structure of the population was relevant.
"Māori and Pacific households are both younger and larger, and so once you started to see hang on, how much might be going on that you can begin to explain and understand by looking at some of those population issues, then that's a piece too that we really don't have a good understanding of and that has a particular impact for Māori communities," Associate Professor O'Brien says.
He says given the links between poverty and child maltreatment, a good starting point for policymakers would be reducing the risk associated with poverty.
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