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Clinical Network for Child Protection

This site does not accept referrals or provide clinical advice in response to questions. If you are a New Zealand health professional seeking clinical advice, please use your local clinical pathway. If you are a New Zealand child patient, parent or caregiver seeking clinical advice, please contact your usual doctor. You can read the full site disclaimer here.

Purpose of the Network

The purpose of the Child Protection Clinical Network is to assist the Paediatric Society of New Zealand and Ministry of Health to provide a forum for society members with a clinical or research interest in child abuse and neglect to develop policies and strategies; to act as a source of expertise on issues of child abuse and neglect; to assist in the co-ordination of services to abused and neglected children and young people across the country through the development of the child health network; and to advocate for children and young people on all issues related to their health at local, regional and national level.

Clinical Network Clinical Lead

The Child Protection Clinical Network does not presently have a 'Clinical Lead', so is supported by the Child Protection Special Interest Group Committee. The Committee supports services providing the network's deliverables. Below are the key areas of the network's activities.

Children's Action Plan

The Child Protection Clinical Network is working with the leaders and implementers of the Children's Action Plan.

See to find out more about the establishment of local multi-disciplinary Children's Teams. In addition to the two demonstration sites set up at Whangarei and Rotorua, eight new Children's Teams are planned to be rolled out before the end of June 2015. The Clinical Network supports the implementation of the Children's Action Plan. Actions include providing technical advice and making submissions (where indicated) in relation to the implications the plan's proposed actions may have for health.

National Child Protection Alert System

The National Child Protection Alert System (NCPAS) is one action that is considered to contribute to achieving the Prime Minister's target of reducing assaults on children.  On 22 August 2012 Ministers Ryall, Bennett and Parata launched the Supporting Vulnerable Children Result Action Plan.  This plan notes the NCPAS as an action within the health response.  The NCPAS is also included within the Better Public Services Plan and a Minister of Health's Statement of Intent 2013-2016.  The target is for all District Health Boards (DHBs) to be approved by June 2015.  The system includes a robust infrastructure including a Privacy Impact Assessment and as of 10 December 2014, there are 16 DHBs approved to lodge alerts on system.

Shaken Baby Prevention Programme

The Shaken Baby Prevention Programme is a universal education programme tailor-made to the New Zealand context. It provides an opportunity to provide effective, simple and consistent education about infant crying and the harm caused by shaking a baby.  Caregivers are also provided with helpful tips to support them if they are feeling stressed, and where they can go for help. The programme is funded by the Ministry of Health.

The education is provided face to face or in a group setting and participants are offered an opportunity to watch a DVD (Never, ever shake a baby. You have the power to protect). The DVD features kiwi families whose lives have been affected by shaken baby syndrome, and gives tips on how to cope with a crying baby. 

For more information contact:
Kati Wilson
National Co-ordinator for Shaken Baby Prevention
mobile: 021 020 14233

Memorandum of Understanding between Child, Youth and Family, Police, and District Health Boards

The Memorandum of Understanding outlines the mutual commitment of the parties to a collaborative working relationship to ensure the health and safety outcomes for children and young people and their families are met within each party's legislative and funding responsibilities. All DHBs have signed this Memorandum of Agreement.

 MOU Click on the image to view a downloadable pdf of this document

The Memorandum of Understanding has two associated schedules that all DHBs have signed.

Schedule 1: Children admitted to hospital with suspected or confirmed abuse or neglect (view/download here)

Schedule 2: Child, Youth and Family/District Health Board Liaison Social Worker (view/download here)

The standardised Report of Concern template should be used when making referrals to Child Youth & Family.

The Memorandum of Understanding requires that all Reports of Concern that a District Health Board (DHB) makes by phone will also be made in writing. The Report of Concern is available as a Word document that can be downloaded here and filled in.

Child Protection Best Practice Guidelines

The Clinical Network supports the development of the Maternity Care, Wellbeing and Child Protection Best Practice Guidelines.  A national resource kit (including core documents for administering the meeting and recording outcomes/plans) is under development. 

The Privacy Commissioner in November 2014 launched guidance on Sharing Information about vulnerable children. This site includes an interactive escalation ladder.

There is also a Sharing personal information of families and vulnerable children; Guideline for interdisciplinary groups and a PDF version of the Escalation ladder regarding sharing personal information of families and vulnerable children.

Satellite Day

The Child Protection Special Interest Group (CPSIG) Committee is charged with providing an annual workshop for multi-disciplinary child protection clinicians via the Child Protection Special Interest Group Satellite Day.  Since 2009, this annual meeting has been held in conjunction with the Paediatric Society of New Zealand Annual Scientific Meeting; it provides a useful forum to provide updates on key activities, deliver workforce development and discuss matters of interest. For further information please follow the link to the PSNZ website that provides links to the conference/events page.  

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