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Children with intellectual disability 7 times more likely to be uplifted

IHC New Zealand echoes the Chief Ombudsman’s call for the Government to make changes to Oranga Tamaraki so that our most vulnerable children are protected.

This follows a report released yesterday by Chief Ombudsman Peter Boshier investigating a number of complaints of the government department between 2019-23.

IHC’s Director of Advocacy Tania Thomas says it’s a dreadful outlook for young people in Aotearoa, particularly those with an intellectual disability.

“We know that children with an intellectual disability are seven times more likely to be uplifted at birth or from their home than children in the general population,” says Tania.

In 2023, IHC released a report, From Data to Dignity: Health and Wellbeing Indictors for New Zealanders with Intellectual Disability, that also revealed parents with intellectual disability are 15 times more likely to have their child uplifted than parents in the general population.

Tania says she’d like to see a commitment from Oranga Tamariki to eliminate these shocking statistics for disabled tamariki and a review into its practices and processes, particularly regarding the uplifting of children.

Tania says she’s pleased Oranga Tamariki is in the process of implementing a new disability strategy and looks forward to seeing change within the department.


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