1 May 2009

Child protection cases fall

9:35 pm on 1 May 2009

Cases relating to the care and protection of children rose in 2006, but fell in 2007, Family Court figures show.

The figures, released on Friday, show that in 2006, there were 1,493 applications for declaration that children were in need of care and protection. These applications involved 2,344 children.

In 2007, there were 1,244 applications involving 1,921 children.

The number of applications for protection orders stablised, with 4,500 sought in 2007.

The Justice Ministry attributes the trend to the fact protection orders do not expire and once in place there is no need for a new order to be sought.

There has been a slight increase in the number of requests for counselling services through the Family Court, with 12,915 applications for counselling nationwide in 2006 compared with 13,280 in 2007.

The amount spent on judicially ordered services such as legal counsel for children rose to $41.2 million in the 2006-07 year, a 7.7% increase on the year before.

The number of applications for dissolution of marriages or civil union has remained stable, with 10,210 applications filed in 2007.