Skip to Navigation Skip to Content Skip to Search Skip to Site Map Menu

About the project – e pā ana ki te kaupapa


This is the site of the prevention project currently underway at the University of Otago | Te Whare Wānanga o Otāgo.

This project aims to understand the contexts, resources, and relationships  that contribute to the prevention of baby removal in the Aotearoa New Zealand context. It is led by Emily Keddell, (Associate Professor, University of Otago, Pākehā), Kerri Cleaver (Lecturer, Social Work, Canterbury University, Kāi Tahu, Waitaha, Kāti Mamoe) and Luke Fitzmaurice (University of Otago, Victoria University Wellington, Te Aupōuri), with the collaboration of the NGO and Iwi social service forum.

The project uses case stories, focus groups and interviews with key stakeholders to develop system and individual level strategies for change. For the case stories, we interviewed mothers and community practitioners who were involved with families over the period of pregnancy and the early years of a baby’s life. Through these narratives, we identified the many complex social and individual factors that helped prevent removal.

We also ran focus groups and key informant interviews with community-based practitioners who work with whānau more generally.

From these case stories and focus groups, we established common themes and used them to produce case studies, research articles, policy recommendations, educational materials for practitioners, and a research report, as well as a community feedback seminar. We highlight the many ways that families and whānau can be supported to retain the care of their children, where possible. Materials are added to this site as they become available.

We also hope to contribute to the growth of a parental advocacy movement in Aotearoa, to ensure a balance between children’s views, experiences and voices, and those of the parents, whānau and family members who care for them.