Care of children

What are schools’ responsibilities to report suspected abuse, ill treatment or neglect to Oranga Tamariki or the Police?

The Ministry of Education with the NZSTA and CYF drafted a protocol for reporting cases of suspected abuse.

The guidelines are as follows:

  • The child’s safety should always be the paramount consideration in the notification process.
  • No decisions or actions in respect of suspected or actual child abuse are to be made by any staff member in isolation unless there are concerns for the immediate safety of the child.
  • A consultative approach is essential to ensure the safety of the child and the staff member. Staff must discuss their concerns with the principal or nominated person/advocate. Where applicable follow the board’s complaint policy.
  • Decisions about informing parents or caregivers should be made after consultation between the school and Oranga Tamariki.

Reporting of suspected or actual child abuse and neglect – Ministry of Education

If you suspect abuse or are worried about a student, contact Oranga Tamariki.

Oranga Tamariki

  • A person making a report of suspected abuse is protected. No civil, criminal, or disciplinary proceedings can be started against any person unless the information was disclosed or supplied in bad faith.
  • The person to whom the report is made, must investigate the alleged abuse. They may report back to the informant, and or pass the case onto a care and protection co-ordinator.

Children’s and Young People’s Well-being Act 1989, sections 16-18 – Legislation website

Updated: June 2017

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