Social workers to solely focus on child protection

An extra team of social workers to solely focus on child protection has been established to work alongside police in the eastern Bay of Plenty.

While staff from the Ministry for Children and detectives have worked together in the same building in Whakatane for several years, the new team is the first to be ring-fenced and specialise in child abuse.

This means police in the child protection team now work with the same social workers on a daily basis, rather than trying to liaise with different staff who might not be available on a particular day.

Allegations of child abuse or neglect are now being investigated more quickly, say police, often with experienced detectives and social workers speaking with the children and their families together.