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Characteristics of Children at Greater Risk of Poor Outcomes as Adults

4  Characteristics of children aged 6 to 14 years at risk of poor outcomes

In this section we examine an extended set of characteristics for children aged 6 to 14 years that are available through the IDI. Appendix 2 has information for all children aged 0 to 14 years.

Children with a particular indicator

Table 9 shows the profile of children aged 6 to 14 years who had each of the four indicators. The proportion of children with a particular indicator varies considerable:

  • 8.3% had a substantiated finding of abuse or neglect or had been placed in the care of Child, Youth and Family
  • 12.8% had been supported by benefits for more than three-quarters of their lifetime
  • 17.0% had a parent who had received a community and custodial sentence
  • 11.3% had a mother has no formal qualifications.

The proportion of children who have been supported by benefits for more than three-quarters of their lifetime decrease with age, with 18.6% of children aged 0-5 years compared to 12.8% of children aged 6-14 years.

In each case having a particular indicator is correlated with a range of other characteristics, including having a mother who was single at birth, being supported by benefits at birth, having an injury or ASH hospitalisation, non-participation in ECE, having required a referral to dental services before starting school, and having changed addresses frequently.

There is considerable overlap between the four groups. For example around 45% of children who had a substantiated finding of abuse or neglect had spent most of their lifetime supported by benefits, and 62% had a parent has a corrections history.

With regard to projected future outcomes, those who have a particular indicator are much more likely to have poorer outcomes than those without it. Overall around 7% of children are expected to have been supported by welfare benefits (when they are independent adults) for more than 2 years by their 21st birthday. For children who have a substantiated finding, 27% are expected to be supported by benefits for more than 2 years, while for children who have spent most of their lifetime so far supported by benefits, around 23% are expected to spend more than 2 years supported by benefits as independent adults by their 21st birthday.

There are similar patterns with respect to other outcomes, including the likelihood of being referred to Youth Justice, not achieving qualifications, receiving community or custodial sentence by age 21 and by age 35.

Table 9: Characteristics of children aged 6 to 14
with each indicator present
Total Indicator
Substantiated
finding of
abuse or
neglect
Mostly
supported by
welfare benefits
since birth
Parent with a
sentence
history
Mother with
no formal
qualifications
Number of children 510,351 42,543 65,184 86,949 57,417
Percentage of children 100.0 8.3 12.8 17.0 11.3
Percentage                                       
Gender
Male 51.2 51.1 50.7 51.4 51.3
Female 48.8 49.0 49.3 48.6 48.7
Ethnicity
Asian 9.4 2.9 3.1 1.9 3.5
European 52.6 27.7 23.2 25.5 40.2
Māori 26.0 54.7 59.1 59.4 42.4
Other 2.0 1.2 1.8 0.8 1.1
Pacific 10.0 13.6 12.9 12.3 12.8

Indicator

Substantiated finding of abuse or neglect 8.3 100.0 29.3 30.1 19.7
Mainly supported by benefits since birth 12.8 45.0 100.0 40.2 28.1
Parent has a community or custodial sentence history 17.0 61.6 53.7 100.0 37.5
Mother has no formal qualifications 11.3 26.5 24.7 24.8 100.0

Selected characteristics

Parental characteristics
Received income support at the time of the birth 19.8 59.6 75.0 54.6 42.0
Had a previous or current gang affiliation 1.6 8.4 6.9 8.9 4.1
Mother was single at birth 20.4 52.9 64.9 46.6 36.7
Mother was teenager at birth 5.9 17.3 19.9 17.9 13.1
Safety
Had a police family violence referral to CYF 9.6 58.9 33.9 33.0 20.4
Notified to CYF 20.0 99.8 58.2 56.8 40.2
Had a injury-related hospitalisation 15.2 24.4 21.0 20.8 18.5
Mother smoked around the time of the childs birth 9.8 24.5 25.3 25.2 20.7
Health
Had an ambulatory sensitive hospitalisation** 22.2 33.9 34.4 33.2 31.3
Low weight at birth 6.1 9.3 8.3 8.1 7.9
Belonging
Changed address at least once a year on average** 0.9 5.2 3.1 3.7 2.7
Table 10: Projected future outcomes for children aged 6 to 14
with each indicator present
Total Indicator
Substantiated
finding of
abuse or
neglect
Mostly
supported by
welfare benefits
since birth
Parent with a
sentence
history
Mother with
no formal
qualifications
Number of children 510,351 42,543 65,184 86,949 57,417
Percentage of children 100.0 8.3 12.8 17.0 11.3

Projected outcomes before age 21 (%)

Further contact with CYF 18.3 75.6 51.7 48.4 34.8
Contact with Youth Justice 4.6 19.7 15.0 14.1 9.5
Did not achieve any school qualifications 17.7 42.7 38.6 35.4 27.6
Did not achieve a level 2 qualification 27.3 56.0 52.1 49.0 40.3
Received Sole Parent Support 5.2 15.8 15.2 13.4 9.7
Received a benefit for more than 2 years 7.4 26.9 22.6 19.6 14.4
Used mental health services or pharms 18.5 33.0 25.7 26.0 22.4
Received a community or custodial sentence 6.1 22.0 17.1 17.1 11.5
Received a custodial sentence 1.7 9.1 6.0 6.0 3.7
Has a current or previous gang affiliation 0.6 3.7 2.7 2.6 1.5

Projected outcomes when aged 25 to 34 (%)

Received a community or custodial sentence 8.4 24.7 20.7 20.0 14.2
Received a custodial sentence 3.2 11.6 9.0 8.7 5.9
Spent more than 5 years receiving benefit 8.6 25.1 21.4 19.1 14.4

Projected average costs before age 21

Average benefit costs when a child 18,500 52,300 72,100 47,400 35,900
Average care and protection costs 3,300 31,200 9,200 12,800 8,500
Average Youth Justice costs 600 3,500 2,000 2,100 1,300
Average total cost of CYF, YJ, benefits as a child 22,400 86,900 83,300 62,300 45,700
Average benefit costs 5,800 17,600 15,500 13,600 10,200
Average corrections costs 1,200 6,800 4,500 4,400 2,600
Average total cost* 29,400 111,300 103,300 80,300 58,500

Projected average costs before age 35

Average adult benefit costs 37,700 100,200 88,900 80,300 61,300
Average corrections costs 7,700 35,100 25,700 24,800 15,300
Average total costs* 67,700 222,300 198,000 167,300 122,400

* includes CYF, YJ, child benefit costs

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