I suspect a child is being abused. What should I do?

I suspect a child is being abused. What should I do?

Any abuse of a child is a serious matter. If you suspect a child is being abused it is important that you notify your local Police or the Ministry for Vulnerable Children, Oranga Tamariki. The roles and responsibility of Police and the Ministry for Vulnerable Children, Oranga Tamariki are governed by a shared Child Protection Protocol and Memorandum of Understanding.

Child Abuse is dealt with by specialist Police Officers who work alongside the Ministry for Vulnerable Children, Oranga Tamariki to investigate concerns of abuse. Early intervention by child protection services reduces harm to victims before the abuse has the opportunity to escalate.

Any concerns about child abuse must be notified early so that an assessment of the child's safety can be made.

Many people have well founded suspicions that a child may be suffering abuse and fail to act due to concerns that their suspicions may be wrong. Section 16 of the Children, Young Persons and Their Families Act (1989) protects people who notify concerns of abuse in good faith from civil and criminal proceedings. Police and the Ministry for Vulnerable Children, Oranga Tamariki would rather know about your suspicions and be able to make their own assessment of the child's safety than not to hear at all. 

Useful contact details:

Ministry for Vulnerable Children, Oranga Tamariki

Phone: 0508 Family or 0508 326 459
Email: contact@mvcot.govt.nz