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The Parliamentary Social Services Committee has released a new report on the identification, rehabilitation, and care and protection of child offenders. The Committee considered the way child offenders are dealt with by the justice system and whether the current care and protection model is working effectively to identify and rehabilitate child offenders. The terms of reference for the inquiry were to:
•Determine what, if any, are the identifiers of potential child offenders, and how services provided by the Ministry of Social Development could minimise the likelihood of future offending
•Consider the evidence-based rehabilitative programmes provided by the Ministry of Social Development for child offenders, and assess their effectiveness in changing offending patterns
•Examine the correlation between the timeframes for referral of children into the care and protection system and the effectiveness of the rehabilitation programmes in addressing the underlying behaviour; and consider options for streamlining the referral process
•Consider whether the care and protection model is effective in meeting the needs of key stakeholders and whether improvements could be made.