Rock the cradle: end child abuse now
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This journalism article and exegesis seeks solutions to reduce child abuse. Early intervention and addressing the underlying causes behind child abuse and neglect (poverty, social isolation, being a young parent, drug and alcohol abuse, living in restricted circumstances i.e. on the benefit) has been proven to work when services are implemented correctly. Examples of successful early intervention strategies are the home visiting programmes, Early Start and Family Help Trust; however they are only available to a limited number of families in Christchurch. The countrywide home visiting programme, Family Start, is criticised for not producing enough positive outcomes and this has resulted in five Family Start sites closed down and their contracts retendered. These programmes are based off American models which strong research shows do not only reduce child abuse and neglect, but also improves a range of desired results such as increasing education and employment and reducing crime. Later this year the Government will release a 10 year action plan for vulnerable children. Child well-being advocates sincerely hope that early intervention and addressing the underlying causes will feature heavily and produce the much needed policy changes to reduce child abuse and neglect.