Child protection policies and safety checks required under Vulnerable Children Act

Image: OpenClips

The Children's Action Plan has produced a fact sheet and frequently asked questions on the Vulnerable Children Act and associated legislation. These passed into law on 1 July 2014.

Changes under the Act include the following:

  • Certain state services, District Health Boards, school boards, and their contracted or funded providers of children’s services must adopt child protection policies, covering the identification and reporting of child abuse and neglect.
  • The introduction of a new standard safety check for all paid staff in the government-funded children’s workforce, and workforce restrictions preventing people with certain serious convictions from roles that involve working alone with, or with primary responsibility for, children. This restriction is subject to an exemptions process.

The Act sets out the timeframes for the implementation of these new measures.

Amendments to the Children, Young Persons and their Families Act and the KiwiSaver Act were also passed into law, including:

  • Provisions where a person has had a child or young person permanently removed from their care due to abuse or neglect, or where the adult has been convicted of the murder, manslaughter, or infanticide of a child or young person in his or her care.
  • Measures to ensure all options for support and in-home care are considered for disabled children and their families and whānau before making any decisions about out-of-home care.

The Fact Sheet, FAQs and further information are available on the Children's Action Plan website.

The full text of the Vulnerable Children's Act 2014 is available on the New Zealand Legislation website.

Image: Playschool children by OpenClips. Licence: Public domain