The Social Development Ministry is stopping short of implementing a predictive risk assessment tool that can identify children at risk of abuse. MSD commissioned Auckland economist Professor Rhema Vaithianathan to develop the model which uses data about children and their families to identify those at risk of physical, sexual or emotional abuse before the age of two. Professor Vaithianathan says MSD has decided against implementing the tool in the way it was intended, and says it is unethical. Dorothy Adams is Acting Deputy CEO of Organisational Solutions for the Ministry of Social Development.
Last Wednesday the Minister of Social Development Anne Tolley announced the formation of an ‘independent expert panel’ to lead a ‘complete overhaul ‘ of Child, Youth and Family. This is the first of a series of posts by social workers who wish to challenge aspects of the panel’s role and composition and call for a much more open process of discussion to influence the way forward.