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Authors: Sarah Crichton, Robert Templeton and Sarah Tumen.
This Analytical Paper was prepared as part of the Treasury's work with other government agencies on Social Investment.
This paper summarises the main findings of an exploratory analysis of the Ministry of Social Development's Integrated Child Dataset (ICD). The analysis investigates the characteristics of children who are at risk of poor outcomes as young adults; their patterns of contact with selected government social service agencies; and some of the costs associated with the provision of services by those agencies.
The analysis sought to better understand the numbers and characteristics of children who have contact with government agencies as a result of childhood disadvantage, and the extent to which these children go on to exhibit poor outcomes later in life. The indicators of poor outcomes that are considered include being referred to CYF youth justice services, failing to achieve NCEA at school, long-term benefit receipt, and having convictions that lead to community or custodial sentences.
The main analysis is a birth cohort analysis which focuses on those born between 1 July 1990 and 30 June 1991, who can be observed through to age 21 in the dataset. The future outcomes of this birth cohort out to age 36 are also estimated.
The project generated a wide-ranging set of results on the outcomes of children who experienced one or more types of disadvantage in childhood, by ages five, 13 and 18 years of age. For example, considering children with multiple disadvantages, we found that the outcomes of children who by age five were known to CYF, had a parent or caregiver who had a corrections sentencing history, and had been supported by benefit for most of their childhood, were considerably worse than those of other children. About one percent of children in the 1990/91 birth cohort met all three criteria. Compared with all children they were significantly less likely to achieve NCEA, around five times more likely to have had a CYF youth justice referral, five times more likely to have been on benefit for more than two years before age 21, and seven times more likely to have been in prison before age 21.
Another six percent of children met two of the three criteria, and these children also had relatively poor outcomes. Compared with all children they were around four times more likely to have had a CYF youth justice referral, four times more likely to have been on benefit for more than two years before age 21, and four times more likely to have been in prison before age 21.
Contact for Enquiries
All enquiries about this Analytical Paper should be directed to the Communications TeamJohn Deal | Communications
Tel: +64 4 971 6163
The research was undertaken while the authors were on secondment to the Ministry of Social Development. The authors would like to thank staff from the Ministry of Social Development who assisted and advised on the project.
The views, opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this Analytical Paper are strictly those of the author(s). They do not necessarily reflect the views of the New Zealand Treasury or the New Zealand Government. The New Zealand Treasury and the New Zealand Government take no responsibility for any errors or omissions in, or for the correctness of, the information contained in this Analytical Paper.