Introduction The Glenn Inquiry (TGI) has contracted Institute of Environmental Science and Research Limited (ESR) to bring together the relevant experience and expertise to collaboratively model a transformed system to address child abuse and neglect (CAN) and family violence (FV) in New Zealand.
We have treated the task of reducing FV and CAN as a ‘wicked problem’1; that is, reducing FV and CAN is a problem that cannot be solved once and for all, and is not a matter of simply applying expert knowledge. The methods used in this project have been chosen because they are appropriate for working with wicked problems: stakeholder engagement, systems thinking and inter-disciplinary analysis.
In this report, we refer to both CAN and FV. We recognise that, for some purposes, dealing with CAN requires particular strategies and treatment; however, the purpose of this report is to develop a transformed system that will reduce both CAN and other forms of FV. While the underlying causes of CAN and other FV may be considered independently, and some responses to each form of abuse will need to be particular, this report proposes a wider system of responses that will enable targeted interventions for each form of abuse.
We use the term ‘family violence’ in this report in the sense it has come to be understood in Aotearoa, and is used in Te Rito: New Zealand Family Violence Prevention Strategy. In this use, FV includes intimate partner violence, child abuse and neglect, elder abuse, inter-sibling abuse and parental abuse.
The project consisted of four work-streams:
- A review of the international and national literature on what would constitute a high performing system to address CAN and FV, including a review of New Zealand’s current approach with a focus on government legalisation, policies and initiatives;
- Qualitative modelling of the system dynamics associated with the existing way in which New Zealand has responded to CAN and FV;
- A secondary (sociological) analysis of suggestions for system improvement from the People’s Report; and,
- Developing a systemic model of a transformed system through collaborative workshops with sector experts.