Key statistics and information for media

This page provides information and data frequently requested by the media. It will also be of interest to students, academics and other researchers.

Our role

When families become known to us, our role is to:

  • work out what’s going on and assess the level of needs, including risk or harm to the child or young person
  • work with the family and others to find the best solution for the child or young person.

In the majority of cases, families don’t require our involvement. They just need advice or to be connected to the right support services. When the family has needs, but there are no safety or wellbeing issues for the child or young person, we put them in touch with appropriate community services if they are not already connected.

For others, we carry out a fuller assessment to find out more about what’s happening for the family, their needs and risks (which includes safety) and the right way to help. Depending on what we find, we will:

  • link the family with the right community based support services to help meet their needs in a coordinated, wrap-around way
  • for the more complex cases, we’ll hold a family group conference where the family and other key people agree on a plan to support the child or young person, and work with the family to help them care safely for their children and young people
  • if the child or young person is in serious danger and needs to be protected, they will be taken into care while we are working with the family.

Key statistics

The following compares the national data for YTD 2016 (1 July to 30 September 2016) with the same period in the previous year (1 July to 30 September 2015).

Compared to last year, the 1 July to 30 September 2016 quarter shows an 11 percent decrease in volumes of reports of concern requiring further action. Historically, reports of concern requiring further action as a proportion of all reports of concern have been between approximately 60 to 65 percent. Since 2013, the proportion has decreased each financial year. This quarter is the first time that the proportion has been less than 50 percent (49 percent compared to 56 percent YTD September 2015). This suggests that the cases that are coming through are complex and/or serious cases and are appropriate for statutory intervention. This continues a trend that we noted at the end of the last financial year.

Notifications

The number of distinct children and young people identified in reports of concern increased by three percent (from 18,323 to 18,792). The total number of children and young people with notifications (including Police family violence referrals) decreased seven percent (from 36,373 to 33,792), reflecting a 19 percent decrease in the total number of children and young people with Police family violence referrals (from 15,632 to 12,649).

Investigations and assessments

The total number of children and young people with reports of concern that required further action decreased by 11 percent (from 11,716 to 10,460), while the number of distinct children and young people with reports of concern requiring further action decreased by 10 percent (from 11,035 to 9,952).

Findings

Total substantiated findings of abuse or neglect decreased by four percent (from 4,322 to 4,154), and there was a five percent decrease in the number of distinct children and young people with substantiated findings (from 3,801 to 3,610).

Interventions

The total number of children and young people participating in Care and Protection Family Group Conferences increased by three percent (from 2,057 to 2,118). The number of distinct children and young people participating in Care and Protection Family Group Conferences increased by four percent (from 1,943 to 2,012).

The total number of young people involved in Youth Justice Family Group Conferences increased by two percent (from 1,405 to 1,434), while the number of distinct young people involved decreased by one percent (from 979 to 968).

Kids in care

Compared to 30 September 2015, the number of distinct children and young people in the custody of the Chief Executive increased by six percent (from 5,061 to 5,380). There was also a six percent increase in the number of out-of-home placements (from 4,203 to 4,435).

Admissions to Care and Protection residences decreased by 12 percent (from 34 to 30), while admissions to Youth Justice residences increased by 26 percent (from 206 to 260).

Adoptions

Statistics on adoptions within New Zealand are provided on request by the Ministry of Justice. Email: courtstats@justice.govt.nz.
The Department of Internal Affairs can provide information on intercountry adoptions finalised overseas and recognised by New Zealand. Email: info@dia.govt.nz

Media enquires

For all media enquiries, please contact the Ministry of Social Development’s media team:

Please check our newspage to keep up to date with announcements and news.