Ethnic Disparities in Child Protection

This study followed the child protection interactions of almost 60,000 New Zealand children from birth until the age of 18. The study is New Zealand’s first cumulative count of child protection encounters by ethnicity.


Rouland, B., Vaithianathan, R., Wilson, D., & Putnam-Hornstein, E. (2019). Ethnic Disparities in Childhood Prevalence of Maltreatment: Evidence from a New Zealand Birth Cohort. Am J Public Health.

This publication co-authored by Rhema Vaithianathan and Benedicte Rouland (CSDA research fellow 2016-2018) aims to document ethnic disparities in childhood abuse and neglect among New Zealand children. By following the 1998 New Zealand birth cohort of 56,904 children through 2016, the authors identify substantial ethnic differences in child maltreatment and child protection involvement. They find that despite long-standing child support policies and reparation for breaches of Indigenous people’s rights, significant child maltreatment disparities persist.

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Quick facts

Location: New Zealand

Timeframe: 2016-2017