International measurement models: harm in care

Published: August 27, 2017 · Updated: August 27, 2017

A high-level review of how different countries report on the harm experienced by children in the custody of care and protection agencies.


Since 2010, Oranga Tamariki has been reporting on the harm experienced by tamariki in our care.

The methodology used to measure harm has evolved over time as we have learnt more from our own work as well as other countries’ ways of measuring harm.

This report, International approaches for reporting on harm experienced by children in care: A high-level review, outlines the approach used for reporting harm in a number of English speaking countries that are comparable to New Zealand: England, Scotland, the United States, Canada, and Australia.

The report is included as an appendix to the Safety of Children in Care: Measurement of Harm report, which details the new measurement approach being taken by Oranga Tamariki. This new approach will help identify harm of children and young people in care across all care settings earlier, and enable greater understanding the underlying risk factors for tamariki in care.

Key findings

The review’s key findings include:

  • reporting has a range of applications, including performance monitoring of the care and protection system, and informing national statistics
  • data sources, and the specific nature of harm in care reported, vary across the countries looked at in the review
  • reporting is usually limited to a focus on specific perpetrator types
  • past reporting in New Zealand was broadly comparable to other countries
  • New Zealand’s new approach represents a new development within international reporting on harm in care.