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Children’s contact with MSD services

This factsheet examines the contact young people born in 1993 had with Ministry of Social Development (MSD) benefit, care and protection and youth justice services in childhood, and compares this cohort with those born more recently.


Almost six in every ten children born in 1993 had some contact with one of MSD’s services during their childhood. One in every two children was supported by a benefit at some point. One in every five children was known to Child, Youth and Family and one in every twelve children was found to have been maltreated (neglected or physically, sexually or emotionally abused).

The estimates presented confirm an association between being supported by benefit in childhood and coming to the attention of the care and protection and youth justice services found in an earlier New Zealand study.

They also demonstrate that while children who spend some time supported by benefits are at higher risk than the population overall, most never have contact with care and protection or youth justice services.

Reading to a child.
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