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Diploma Content

The Diploma in Child Protection Studies is made up of 27 elements.

Element 1 – Marae Visit (3 day stay)

Learners will gain an understanding of the principles that form the foundation for Maori values and develop a basic knowledge of the composition, positive contribution and operation of a Maori whanau and relate this to the issues of child protection. They will develop an understanding of intercultural communication and will show an understanding of the ways in which growing up in a Maori environment contributes to the development of Maori children, and the importance of identity to a Maori person. They will consider child protection from within a Maori context, and examine beliefs, and culture as it relates to responding to Maori

Element 2 – Child Development

In order to understand and respond to the developmental needs of children, learners will gain an understanding of the development of physical, intellectual, language and social skills of children from birth to adolescence and explore events and relationships which have an impact on this.

Element 3 – Child Development from an Abuse Perspective

Learners will gain an overview of the sexual, emotional, moral, ethical and social development of children. They will investigate the relationship between developmental processes and child abuse, and integrate this knowledge with the understanding of the likelihood that children are more vulnerable at different stages of their development

Element 4 - Introduction to Emotional Abuse

Learners will gain an understanding of the causes and effects of emotional abuse of children, will develop an awareness of the particular needs of emotionally abused children and form some practical responses for working with these children.

Element 5 – Sexual Abuse

Learners will gain an understanding of the dynamics of sexual abuse, and the theoretical and practical issues in protecting children from sexual abuse. They will have the opportunity to explore how they, in their work capacity can respond to a child’s needs and behaviours in a manner that is sensitive, constructive and appropriate and is most likely to enhance the child’s healing and rehabilitation.

Element 6 – Physical Abuse

Learners will gain an understanding of the causes and effects of physical abuse. They will have the opportunity to explore how they, in their work capacity can respond to a child’s needs and behaviours in a manner that is sensitive, constructive and appropriate and is most likely to enhance the child’s healing and rehabilitation.

Element 7 – Domestic Violence

Learners will gain an understanding of the causes and effects of domestic violence and of intervention programmes available in New Zealand. They will develop an awareness of how children are affected by in domestic violence and of safe practices that may be followed to provide the most appropriate help and support for children.

Element 8 – Recognition of Self

Learners will have an opportunity to explore their own values, beliefs, needs and personal reactions to issues concerning child abuse and be able to use this in a positive and constructive way when working or involved with children.

Element 9 – Children Involved in Family Changes and Fostering

Learners will gain an understanding of the types of family changes that children are likely toe experience, and the causes and effects of such changes. Learners will discover appropriate ways to respond to the needs and behaviours shown by the child, in order to help the child through any adjustments that need to be made. They will learn ways of responding constructively and sensitively to the child’s need and behaviours throughout the fostering process and methods of assisting the child in the adjustments that need to be made.

Element 10 – Working with Families

Learners will develop an understanding of a range of family types and some of the difficulties that workers face in being involved in helping certain families. They will investigate strategies that will enable them to approach such families when there are issues to be resolved regarding the care of children, and work through the perceived barriers.

Element 11 – Children at Risk

Learners will consider a number of approaches to assessment of risk, and gain practice in deciding on the degree to which a situation might put a child at risk. They will gain an understanding of the situations and indications that suggest a child or family may be at risk of abuse and identify the possible seriousness of that abuse.

Element 12 – Meetings with Whanau

Learners will gain an understanding of the nature and uses of family/whanau meetings, and some of the problems and difficulties that may be encountered. They will develop the knowledge and skills to initiate a family/whanau meeting and to ensure that the objectives for calling the meeting are met. They will recognise the role of the Strengthening Families service in supporting this process.

Element 13 – Practical Ways of Supporting Children and Families

Learners will develop their awareness of the extra needs that families of abused children encounter and of some practical ways that workers can provide appropriate support. They will discuss further pressures placed on families of children with disabilities and special needs, and discover how they might advocate on behalf of these children.

Element 14 – Responding to Children and Families in other Cultures

Learners will develop an understanding of the values and beliefs of different Pacific Island cultures, and an awareness of how these values are expressed. They will explore practices and processes that will enable them to work with other cultures, while respecting the values of the families involved.

Element 15 – Sexual Offenders and Children who Abuse

Learners will develop an understanding of patterns of offender behaviour, profiles of those who abuse against children and an overview of at least one treatment programme. They will consider signs that will alert them to those who might be future offenders.

Learners will also gain an understanding of some of the behavioural patterns of children who sexually abuse others and the issues this raises for them and their families. They will discuss causes of youthful offending, and possible responses to this problem.

Element 16 –Child Protection Programmes

Learners will develop an awareness of self protection programmes for children and the availability of programmes. They will explore assumptions behind protection programmes and issues to be considered in offering such programmes

Element 17 – Children with Disabilities

Learners will gain an understanding of the ways in which children with disabilities are vulnerable to all forms of abuse, by virtue of their own limitations or the attitudes of others. They will develop an awareness of the needs of children with disabilities suffering from abuse and some constructive and suitable ways of responding to those needs.

Element 18 – Family Group Conferences

Learners will gain an understanding of the function and legal status of Family/Whanau agreements and Family Group Conferences (FGC) and an awareness of the roles of those attending FGC’s.

Element 19 – Guardianship and the Family Courts

Learners will gain an overview of the role and function of the family court and of ways children and families can be supported when they are dealing with family court issues. They will develop an appreciation of how children are affected by family breakdown and the process of clarifying care, contact and guardianship

Element 20 – Interviewing Children who may have been abused

Learners will gain an understanding of the reasons for undertaking evidential interviews of children who have been abused and the processes and protocols undertaken in those interviews. They will become aware of the role that they can play in supporting a child or family going through this process.

Element 21 – Going to Court

Learners will gain an understanding of the issues involved for children who have to appear in court and of the most effective ways of preparing children for this experience. They will examine the court processes, and any part that they themselves may be required to undertake.

Element 22 – Care and Protection Resource Panels

Learners will gain an understanding of the role of Care and Protection Resource Panels and of the relationship of the panel to their own work with children

Element 23 – Child Protection Policies

Learners will gain an awareness of the need for organizations to prepare a child protection policy. They will develop an understanding of the items that should be included in such a policy and of the process to be undertaken and the issues to be addressed in writing a comprehensive child protection policy.

Element 24 – Preparing reports about children

Learners will gain an understanding of the elements that make up an effective report, and the process of planning and presenting an effective report. They will have practical experience in writing and critically assessing reports.

Element 25 – Talking to Children

Learners will identify some techniques on how to talk to children about child abuse in the most appropriate way and when these techniques may be appropriate.

Element 26 – Issues in Child Protection

Learners will gain an awareness of some of the developments that are occurring in services that effect children, and be alerted to remain constantly aware that changes are happening all the time. They will become alert to the interconnected role that the public and private agencies play, and of how they might respond to opportunities arising.

Element 27 – Practical Child Advocacy

Learners will learn some ways of acting as a child advocate and gain an understanding of appropriate actions that they might take. They will identify some of the difficulties they might encounter in acting as child advocates and gain an overview from various standpoints.