June 24, 2015
Comprehensive approach needed for gang children
A comprehensive, multi-faceted approach need to be taken to childen whose parents are in gangs if they are not to go down a similar track.
That’s the recommendation of the Social Policy Evaluation and Research Unit, formerly the Families Commission, in its latest What Works publication.
Superu chief executive Clare Ward says children of gang-involved parents are at greater risk of being abused, neglected, exposed to violence between parents, entering into the youth justice system and joining a gang.
She says single-faceted approaches such as suppression, intervention or prevention have not been found to be effective.
There are examples overseas of comprehensive community-based approaches that do work.
There are also promising examples of dealing with ethnic Maori gangs by engaging with the whole whanau and community.
Ms Ward says more primary research is needed to better understand the direct impacts on children’s health, wellbeing, education, employment outcomes and criminality into adulthood.
Evidence-based interventions also need to be developed for children of gang-involved parents.
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