New Zealand braces for spike in child abuse reports as Covid-19 lockdown eases
Head of children’s welfare agency says toll could start to emerge after lockdown created ‘perfect storm’ of stress for struggling families
As hundreds of thousands of children return to classrooms around New Zealand, welfare services are bracing themselves for a spike in reports of abuse and neglect after weeks of “invisible” lockdown.
The country entered lockdown on 25 March and emerged late last week. During lockdown reports of family violence to police dropped, and reports of concern to Oranga Tamariki, the country’s welfare agency for children, fell by around 40%.