Working with children

Vulnerable Children Act requirements

The Vulnerable Children Act 2014 was part of a series of comprehensive measures brought in to protect and improve the wellbeing of vulnerable children.

Here you'll find information and resources for employers, organisations and individuals relating to the act. 

child protection children on tablet

A culture of child protection

Child protection policies help build a strong culture of child protection across a workplace by encouraging early identification and referral of vulnerable children.

Your obligations under the Vulnerable Children Act 2014

The following organisations must have child protection policies, review them every three years, and make them available on their websites:

  • the Ministries of Education, Health, Justice, Social Development, Business, Innovation and Employment, Te Puni Kōkiri and New Zealand Police
  • district health boards (DHBs)
  • schools, including private schools, and partnership schools (Kura Hourua).

All providers of children’s services they contract or fund must also have child protection policies. If you’re one of these organisations, or contracted or funded by them to provide services to children, you need to either review your existing child protection policy or write a new one.

Unsure about your obligations? Contact your funding or regulating body for advice.

Don’t receive government funding? Even if you are not obligated, we encourage organisations to have child protection policies to ensure our tamariki are safe. To find out how to write a good quality child protection policy, check out our guidance and resources below.

More about child protection

If you'd like to know more about child protection, the Safeguarding Children Initiative delivers free, evidence-based seminars. Access their free training and e-learning:

Safeguarding children