New legislation designed to protect vulnerable children

Changes to the Crimes Act put a spotlight on the importance of speaking up for vulnerable children, and target people who know a child is being seriously abused and fail to protect them and get them the help they need.

The amendment of the Crimes Act took effect in March 2012. It applies to adults living in the same household as the child, or to those so closely connected that it is reasonable to consider them members of the household – usually because they visit frequently for long periods, and have a family relationship.

This includes staff members at a hospital, institution, or residence where the child lives, including a Child, Youth and Family residence.

These changes highlight the importance of all New Zealanders speaking up for children who are vulnerable, and reminds us that we should always have what’s best for a child at the centre of our work.

To find out more about the Crimes Amendment Act, see www.justice.govt.nz.

Source: Supporting Each Other: News from Child, Youth and Family – Issue 30, April 2012