26 Jul 2012

Kahui finding expected to increase abuse reporting

12:33 pm on 26 July 2012

Social workers are calling for more resources to deal with an expected surge in the number of child abuse cases reported, in the wake of a coroner's report on the death of the Kahui twins.

Coroner Garry Evans has recommended changes to the way people report abuse, including the possibilty of mandatory reporting by those in the health profession.

Waitakere Anti-Violence Essential Services manager Poto Williams, who works closely with the local Child Youth and Family office, says its resources are already stretched.

She says the number of notifications of child abuse has gone up in recent years but that growth has not been matched by an increase in social workers.

Ms Williams says despite their best efforts, there is no way a CYF social worker can do justice to every case.

She says with an increased emphasis on notifying authorities of abuse, the situation will only get worse.

Labour Party social development spokesperson Jacinda Ardern says social workers are already struggling to deal with unmanageable caseloads and need to be properly resourced.

Social Development Paula Bennett has said that the coroner's recommendations will be taken seriously.

She says a white paper on vulnerable children will set future policy and Cabinet has yet to decide on mandatory reporting.