26 Apr 2024

Does NZ need mandatory child abuse reporting?

From Nine To Noon, 9:05 am on 26 April 2024

Any moves to make reporting of suspected child abuse mandatory should be treated with caution, says a group that helps train people in how to identify such harm.

Earlier this month Act leader and associate education minister David Seymour announced changes to the early childhood education sector. 

He signalled plans to introduce mandatory child abuse reporting, while noting no firm decision had been made.

New Zealand's awful history with child abuse is well documented, and mandatory reporting was a recommendation of a 2023 report by Dame Karen Poutasi prompted by the death of five-year-old Malachi Subecz.

However she also noted the reporting should go hand in hand with regular training for frontline professionals who work with children.

Joining Susie to discuss is Safeguarding Children's CEO Willow Duffy and Sarah Whitcombe-Dobbs, a senior lecturer in Child and Family Psychology at the University of Canterbury.

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Photo: 123RF