Insight for 25 March 2012 ( 27′ 59″ )
Teresa Cowie revisits six babies in the long term study Growing Up in NZ as the second round of information is released
As tough welfare reforms are rolled out and the government wades through thousands of submissions on tackling child abuse, there is renewed determination to know why so many families go wrong.
To understand how government policy and families should be working together, Auckland University's 21-year study following 7,000 babies and their families, has released more research, this time looking at the first nine months of their lives.
One year on from meeting six of those babies, Teresa Cowie has returned to find out how their lives are taking shape so far.
Photograph on left by Red Photography.
You can listen to the first Insight on research from the Growing Up in
NZ study here:
Coming Up on Insight
8:12 am Sunday 3 May: New Zealand's Neglected Foetal Alcohol Problem
The damage that some babies can suffer when pregnant mothers drink heavily has again floated into the public consciousness after the Privy Council accepted that the then convicted murderer Teina Pora suffered from Foetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder.
It quashed his conviction for the murder and rape of Susan Burdett and decided that his "frequently contradictory and often implausible confessions and the recent diagnosis of his FASD [Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder] leads to only one possible conclusion ... that reliance on his confessions gives rise to a risk of a miscarriage of justice."
The number of people in New Zealand affected by the disorder is unknown, but some estimates indicate that 3,000 babies are born with it every year.
Insight's Philippa Tolley has been speaking to families coping with the disorder and Youth Court Judges about what needs to be done.