The headlines aren't pretty but high profile child abuse cases have highlighted how great a need there is for early intervention.
This week 24 professionals in the education, health and social services sectors are in Rotorua learning how to spot the early signs of abuse and to act before a child is seriously injured or killed.
The week-long course, run by Child Protection Services, was over-subscribed and course tutor Moyna Fletcher said that was a good sign for Rotorua communities.
"The last time we came here the numbers were low but now people have seen the need and are realising that we have to have strategies and skills to enhance our community, she said.
"Everyone has to advocate for children and see their best interests are upheld."
Among the students on the course, which is being held at the Keswick Christian Camp and Conference Centre, are representatives from kohanga reo, early childhood centres and the Princess of Wales Health Camp.
It has been designed to enhance the skills they already possess and put them in a better position to spot signs of abuse and take action.
Early childhood teacher Kim Porteous said she had already had to contend with abused children.
"For me this course has been about learning to recognise the signs and symptoms and finding the right avenues for those children," she said.
Kohanga reo teacher Anne Tamati said there were greater implications from the sessions.
"We can implement these strategies into our whanau - it's not just about work but also our own whanau and tamariki. Every child abuse case is different but this will help us make positive changes."
The Nia Glassie case and other child abuse victims in New Zealand had brought the need for early intervention to the forefront of frontline staff. Nia was just three when she was brutally assaulted by several family members. She was left in a coma for 36 hours without medical attention and was spun in a clothes' drier. Nia later died from her injuries.
One course student said she was previously oblivious to the child abuse statistics.
"The high-profile cases are what you hear about most but there are a high percentage that go unreported and that's surprised me," said Petrina Campbell from Ruakawa Trust's Family Start.
Mrs Fletcher said she was hopeful another course would be held in the Rotorua area soon.
- The next course is being held in Hamilton. Visit www.cps.org.nz or phone (07) 838 3370 for more information.