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ACEs, Cultural Considerations and ‘Common Sense’ in Aotearoa New Zealand

  • Eileen Joy (a1) and Liz Beddoe (a2)


The ACEs checklist is not yet widely used as a diagnostic tool within Aotearoa New Zealand child welfare services but its relatively low visibility at this point does not mean that some of the science behind this tool, and comparable tools and evidence, are not being used. This article will consider the ramifications of using this sort of tool within the cultural context of Aotearoa New Zealand, a country with a specific history of colonisation of Māori, and more recently a shifting demographic that has been influenced by successive waves of immigration of large numbers of Pacific Island and Asian families. This article will ask if the use of deceptively ‘common sense’ tools, like the ACEs checklist, can take into consideration structural factors such as racism, colonisation and poverty.



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Social Policy and Society
  • ISSN: 1474-7464
  • EISSN: 1475-3073
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