Expert’s 5 point plan for preventing child abuse

Press Release – Competency International Ltd

Last week another child died in Auckland. “All child abuse deaths are preventable,” says Liz Bowen-Clewley, a former member of the Commission for the International Year of the Child and a school guidance counsellor of many years’ standing. Now a consultant …Expert’s 5 point plan for preventing child abuse

Last week another child died in Auckland. “All child abuse deaths are preventable,” says Liz Bowen-Clewley, a former member of the Commission for the International Year of the Child and a school guidance counsellor of many years’ standing. Now a consultant in learning and assessment, Liz’s programme is:

1. Keep vulnerable mothers and babies home in hospital for a sensible time for them to bond with their babies, learn basic skills and put at risk strategies in place (see #2) rather than sending them home within hours of giving birth. Sending them out so soon after they give birth with minimal knowledge and support is a recipe for future problems.

2. Have a pre and post natal in depth screening program where at risk parents are identified and support put in immediately through an intensive Plunket type support system. New parents need on tap support from sensible people, particularly at the difficult stages of children’s development. Otherwise the risks of frustration and abuse are accentuated.

3. Implement mandatory reporting across the education, health and social services and back it up with sufficient support services to make it happen through a range of sources e.g. CYPS, Parent Help, community support, Plunket.

4. Add an incentive payment to family support to parents who attend parenting classes. Make it an annual one off payment of proof of attendance for up to 5 years. Provide a national programme (though with opportunity for tailoring to local circumstances) and train and support facilitators.

5. Implement a national publicity campaign about the fact that it’s all of our responsibility to make sure our children are safe. This can be along the lines of the domestic violence campaign. Get key role models to front it.

The programme has to be integrated and not introduced in an underfunded piecemeal fashion.

It’s time to act rather than to stand by wringing our hands and issuing further reports as our kids suffer and die.

ENDS

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