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Information for: Health Providers

Nurses, GP's, specialists, dental nurses, dentists, midwives, mental health workers, public health nurses …

Why am I so important in protecting children?

From birth, every child sees a health professional. Health professionals are often the first people to see the person who has been abused after an incident. As such, you are in a key position to identify child abuse and family violence early. You may also have the opportunity to see physical and emotional signs that may be present from historical abuse.

The earlier action is taken to address abuse issues the more successful the outcomes for children. Those working in the health arena can play a key part in New Zealand’s response to addressing child abuse. Health professionals have a role in sharing information and working with other professionals to ensure children are kept safe from harm.


General Practioners Professional Development Credits:

The  "Identifying and Responding to Vulnerability and Child Abuse" and "Working together to Keep Kids Safe” has been endorsed by The Royal New Zealand College of General Practitioners (RNZCGP) and has been approved for up to (2.0 credits for recognising and responding to child abuse for GP’s) and (5.30 credits for Working Together to Keep Kids safe) CME for General Practice Educational Programme Stage 2 (GPEP2) and Maintenance of Professional Standards (MOPS) purposes”.


Under the Vulnerable Children Act 2014 it is a requirement that all services funded from the Ministry of Health have a child protection policy and safer recruitment procedures. Child Matters has developed a guide Creating a Safe Health Service to provide support to ensure that these policies and procedures are robust and effective in keeping children and staff safe.

For any policy queries or more information please email us.

Words from the Health Sector…

"As a nurse it’s your responsibility to learn how to identify the signs and symptoms of abuse and to take action to help the abused patient."
Nursing Made Incredibly Easy! Magazine, July/August 2010, Volume 8, number 4.

"As a young registered nurse working in paediatrics the course gave me the valuable insight needed to continue in my line of work. I am now able to implement what I learnt in the course in my everyday work. Doing the Child Protection Studies course has changed the way I work because I think that I look at the bigger picture and the course taught me to look outside the square for warning signs. The course has also given me confidence."
Registered Nurse, New Plymouth (About Child Protection Studies Programme)

"The Child Protection Studies Programme was one of the best experiences I have had educationally. The tutor was amazing – brought a group of quite diverse people together as a close knit team; covered distressing subjects so well and listened. She also shared her passion!"

Dental Nurse, Napier (About Child Protection Studies Programme)

"My thoughts on the CPS training, well where do I start. The CPS training I participated in while in Alexandra was one of the best trainings I have ever experienced in my life. It opened my eyes a lot to some of the things that happen in our country to our young people and families. I thoroughly enjoyed the course it was very intense at times but I feel I have learnt things through the course that I can use in both my working life and personal life."

Mental Health Worker, Alexandra (About Child Protection Studies Programme)

"Personally it has affected me, with a recent homicide as a result of child abuse. It has reflected whether we as an organisation could have done more for this whanau to have prevented this child’s death. Even though there was a loss of a childs life which may have been avoided, we have been an advocate to the remaining children in the home to keep them safe."
Registered Nurse, Dunedin (About Child Protection Studies Programme)

"The delivery was exemplary. It is staggering that there are staff that have worked in areas like dental health, public health and district nursing, not to mention the emergency department who have never made any referrals or notifications around child abuse. There are now a whole bunch of people working in West Coast communities that are in a better position to advocate for children and make a difference in their long term outcomes as a result of having undergone their CPS programme."

DHB Child Protection Coordinator, Greymouth (About Child Protection Studies Programme)

"I found the whole 5 days really amazing. I have done other courses at other stages of my adult life on child abuse but nothing I had done came close to the knowledge and confidence I gained from the course and the people I met there.

I would like to take this opportunity to thoroughly recommend this course to others in any profession because the knowledge and insight they gain from this course will help them pick up on difficult situations and knowing who to call to intervene and deal with these situation as quickly and effectively as possible."
Karitane Nurse, Hamilton. (About Child Protection Studies Programme)

"Since the programme I have realised that as a health professional, I have a responsibility to protect the health and wellbeing of my clients and issues of child protection should not be ignored. Before CPS, as a new graduate nurse I was aware but not to the full extent of possible factors that can lead to children being abused.

I thought that the CPS programme was well delivered with a high standard of expertise and professionalism from both lecturers and I enjoyed the group exercises and discussions over the five days. The learning content, aims and objectives were well set out and easy to follow and I felt inspired to learn in this environment."
Registered Nurse, Dunedin (About Child Protection Studies Programme)

"Professionally this training I see has been essential especially in the field I am in at present, childrens health. We have hundreds of children enter our service every year so to have this knowledge around abuse has been an asset to me."
Health Camp Team Leader, Gisborne (About Child Protection Studies Programme)