New Zealand Law Society - Care and protection matters dominate Child Rights service

Care and protection matters dominate Child Rights service

This article is over 3 years old. More recent information on this subject may exist.

Over half the inquiries - 62% - received by the Child's Rights Advisory Service in the year to 30 June 2017 related to statutory care and protection matters, specifically Oranga Tamariki.

The annual report of the Office the Children's Commissioner, which operates the free, independent advisory service, says common themes of the calls included concerns about the suitability of a child's placement, access to family members, level of care provided and support for a child to remain in the care of their wider family/whanau.

The next largest area of concern, with 20% of inquiries, was Education. A strong theme of these calls was how boards of trustees deal with complaints.

Inquiries relating to legal matters made up 15% of calls. These included questions on when a child can legally leave home, be left unsupervised, and make their own decision about where to live and with whom, as well as questions about access, custody, and Family Court advice or immigration concerns. The Office says it answers simple factual queries of this nature, but does not offer formal legal advice.

The Office says its Child's Rights Advisory Service responded to 511 inquiries in the year to 30 June 2017. It says most of the time people simply need help to understand what process they need to follow or information about the child's rights or entitlements.

Child's Rights Advisory Service, year to 30 June

Inquiry 2017 2016 2015 2014
Child Well-being 317 270 231 249
Education 102 105 114 87
Health 7 14 30 25
Legal 79 91 145 93
General Issues 6 34 106 121
Total 511 514 626 575
Lawyer Listing for Bots