his literature review was a response to a request from the Minister for Social Development and Employment that the Families Commission undertake an “international literature review about parents who lose custody of children through a care and protection intervention who then have additional children who may be at risk … [with particular focus on] … what could be done with these families to prevent additional children coming into these families and being put at risk while the parents are still addressing their complex issues”.
Read Safety of Subsequent Children - Māori children and whānau online
The review considered:
what will assist families overcome their complex issues so that subsequent children are not at risk
what can be done to prevent subsequent children coming into families (while parents are still addressing their complex issues).
Throughout this review, we use the term ‘subsequent children’ to refer to children coming into families at some point after a sibling was removed. We argue that families who have subsequent children removed are a subset of ‘complex families’, who have multiple needs.
Māori children belong to whānau, hapū and iwi and, as such, responsibility for raising children is shared beyond the bounds of their immediate family. The roles and responsibilities of these childrearing networks include the transmission of cultural mores and monitoring of child safety. Unfortunately, and for often complex reasons, not all whānau are safe places for children in their care and Māori whānau are overrepresented in the welfare system, including child-removal statistics. This paper seeks to understand the confluence of factors that place Māori whānau at risk within our society and how these whānau can be supported in their parenting aspirations, especially if they have already had a child removed by Child, Youth and Family (CYF).
The Safety of Subsequent Children: Maori children and whānau - a review of selected literature was prepared for the Families Commission by Fiona Cram, Katoa Ltd.