Methamphetamine and care

Methamphetamine and care: What we know to date
31 Jul 2020


Methamphetamine use and the attendent problems is an issue of concern for New Zealand society. The purpose of this study is to understand the prevalence of methamphetamine as a factor in the decision to place children in care and the ongoing impacts on the child.


The study consists of two parts:

1) A case note review of key documents for a random sample of tamariki who entered care in the year ended 29 February 2020. This analysis aims to improve our understanding of the prevalence of concerns about methamphetamine use by caregivers and others in households in reports of suspected maltreatment to Oranga Tamariki (ROC) and in entry to care decisions (Court Affadavit). Key source documents in CYRAS were reviewed in order to collate data about:

  • Methamphetamine issues raised in Reports of Concern that precede entry to care.
  • Methamphetamine concerns identified within documents relating to Court-ordered entry to care decisions.

2) Collation of information from other research carried out by Oranga Tamariki that provides information relating to the care system and methamphetamine for additional context.

    Key Results

    • Drug and alcohol abuse are frequently factors in the decisions to place a child in care.
    • Methamphetamine is the dominant drug in these decisions, estimated as a factor for almost half of the children who came into our care in the year ended 29 February 2020.
    • Usage is by the mother, others in the household, or both.
    • The impacts of methamphetamine on children in care are ongoing.
    • Indicators of drug and substance abuse are higher for those parents whose children are involved with the care and protection system than for the general population.
    Page last modified: 21 Mar 2024