Preventing child neglect in New Zealand: A public health assessment of the evidence, current approach, and best practice guidance

Preventing child neglect in New Zealand: A public ...
01 Dec 2010

This report examines responses to child neglect across government services, specifically the policy and practice of health, education, Police and social services agencies.


This report has been commissioned to document the nature and consequences of child neglect; describe the prevalence of neglect in New Zealand; summarise government agencies’ responses to neglect; compare current responses to a best-practice response; and formulate recommendations for strengthening the prevention of recurrent neglect in New Zealand.

The report focuses on interventions to prevent the recurrence of neglect. It makes brief reference only to interventions to prevent the occurrence of neglect or interventions to prevent long-term impairment from neglect. The report also focuses on responses made by key government agencies and does not consider interventions by other organisations, family and whānau, friends or the public.


This report examines the prevalence and prevention of child neglect and related long-term outcomes in the literature, New Zealand data, legislation, policy and government practice. A mixed methods approach was used for the report. The inquiry included:

1. A literature review

2. Analysis of Child, Youth and Family data

3. Examination of relevant legislation

4. Policy analysis

5. Stakeholder interviews

6. Analysis and integration of data collected to identify elements of best practice for further development.

Page last modified: 15 Mar 2018