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Kinship Care of the Abused Child: The New Zealand Experience

Worrall, Jill
June 4, 2015

Source: (2001) Child Welfare 80(5):497-511.

The concept of continuity-keeping children within their own kinship, community, and cultural networks-has found international favor in contemporary child welfare practice. This principle is reflected in the 1989 New Zealand Children, Young Person, and Their Families Act. The Act represents a significant shift—from the state to the family—in responsibility for children in need of care. The increasing use of the Family Group Conference process allows families to make decisions about the future of kin children and reflects the belief that, although most abuse is intrafamilial, the family will also be the most committed to keeping the child safe. Other countries have adapted this model to suit their own cultural child welfare needs. The international trend toward formal use of kinship care foe children who have suffered abuse or neglect is likely to continue as foster care resources shrink. Drawing on qualitative research, this article describes the experiences of caregivers and their kin children who have been the subject of a care and protection order.


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