30 Jul 2015

Govt halts abuse prediction study

From Nine To Noon, 9:20 am on 30 July 2015

The Social Development Minister, Anne Tolley has put a stop to an "observational study" of children to assess a new tool to predict the risk of abuse. The Ministry of Social Development commissioned AUT economist Professor Rhema Vaithianathan to develop the model, which uses data about children and their families to identify those at risk of physical, sexual or emotional abuse before the age of two. But Ministry documents show officials tried to get ethics approval for a study which would risk-rate newborns and then keep a watching brief to check if the predictive tool worked.