INDEPENDENT NEWS

Keep A Watchful Eye For Lockdown Abuse

Published: Sun 3 May 2020 04:56 PM
With some children back at school – and more set to head back when New Zealand eventually moves to Level 2 – teachers, aides and the wider community are urged to keep a close eye on the welfare of children after the COVID-19 lockdown.
Child Matters CEO, Jane Searle says some Level 4 bubbles will not have been a safe place for some children across New Zealand, but this may only become apparent once children go back into their school environments.
“The Lockdown – and ongoing restrictions relating to COVID-19 – have been challenging for us all. But for some families, the situation is exacerbated by pre-existing issues such as drug and alcohol abuse, over-crowding, or factors such as stress about loss of employment,” says Mrs Searle.
“In these situations, it doesn’t take much for the melting pot to boil over and tragically, family members – including our children – often bear the brunt of the consequences.
“Due to the lockdown constraints, this harm may not have been obvious to neighbours or wider family, while it could also have been difficult for victims to reach out for help.
“However, the impact could become more visible once the bubble starts widening, and particularly when it includes school. We are urging teachers and the wider school community to keep a watchful eye on their students for signs of concern.”
Mrs Searle says there are some obvious signs of physical abuse, but emotional abuse and/or neglect can be harder to spot. She says teachers and other adults can seek advice from a number of different organisations if they have concerns.
“It could simply be a feeling that something ‘is not quite right’.
“If you have that gut feeling, please let someone know, whether that is your principal or someone like Child Matters. We have a free advisory service for anyone who is concerned about the wellbeing of a child or young person.”
Mrs Searle says in an ideal world, New Zealand would have mandatory child protection training for those working with children which would ensure that those people would know how to recognise the signs of abuse, how to respond and to have the confidence to do so.
“In the meantime, we can help with assessing risk, when to make a report, or providing information about what organisations and services are available. Don’t be scared to call us, we all want the same thing – to make sure children are safe. Please, say something to someone. It could honestly save a life.”
Child Matters is an independent child abuse advocacy and training provider and New Zealand’s only national charitable trust dedicated to the prevention of child abuse.

Next in New Zealand politics

Government and Air NZ agree to manage incoming bookings
By: New Zealand Government
New Investment Creates Over 2000 Jobs To Clean Up Waterways
By: New Zealand Government
David Clark resigns as Health Minister
By: New Zealand Government
Green Party Proposes Transformational Poverty Action Plan
By: Green Party
New protection for dolphins
By: New Zealand Government
Auckland water consent referred to Board of Inquiry
By: New Zealand Government
Hamish Walker - A Personal Statement And An Apology
By: New Zealand National Party
Labour will extend loan scheme 'lifeline' for small business - PM
By: RNZ
Winston Peters on EU travel: 'We're not going to compromise our country's health'
By: RNZ
Infrastructure Investment To Create Jobs, Kick-start COVID Rebuild
By: New Zealand Government
Government Strengthens Managed Isolation System
By: New Zealand Government
ACT Announces List For 2020 General Election
By: ACT New Zealand
Air New Zealand Limits Capacity On Inbound International Services
By: Air New Zealand
Border Lockdown Shows Labour Governing For Labour
By: ACT New Zealand
Cash Boost For Wairarapa Waterways
By: Marcus Anselm - Local Democracy Reporter
View as: DESKTOP | MOBILE © Scoop Media