Modernising Child Protection in New Zealand: Learning from system reforms in other jurisdictions

Modernising Child Protection in New Zealand: Learn…
16 May 2016

Child maltreatment and the provision of effective child care and protection services are a topical issue worldwide. Child care and protection services are focused on responding to increasing demand and pressure on the system, and improving the outcomes of children in care. To address these issues, child care and protection services have undergone recent reforms that have changed their focus, function and delivery.

This report was prepared by the University of New South Wales Social Policy Research Centre and has been written specifically for the Modernising Child, Youth and Family Expert Panel. The Panel is reviewing the focus and operations of Child, Youth and Family (CYF) to achieve better outcomes for vulnerable children, young people and families.

The report captures a snapshot of child care and protection services in other jurisdictions and highlights their challenges and actions taken. Other jurisdictions included in the report are Australia (New South Wales), England, the United States, Canada (Ontario) and Norway.

These jurisdictions were selected as being similar to New Zealand in their basic approach to child protection. The report also includes one jurisdiction (Norway) which offers a contrasting approach.

This report is based on a search of peer-reviewed and ‘grey' literature.


This paper aims to compare various aspects of the current child protection systems in New Zealand with other jurisdictions around the world. This is achieved by identifying common themes and tensions that these child protection systems are encountering and the ways they have addressed (and are addressing) some of the important issues.

Page last modified: 15 Mar 2018