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Parents Should Help Stop Their 'Criminal Children'

Parents must take some responsibility for their children's whereabouts if we are going to turn around the horrifying youth crime statistics, National Corrections Spokesperson Tony Steel said today.

"Twenty-five percent of our young people have committed a criminal offence by the time they are aged 19. We must do something about it. If the message isn't getting through to the kids, it might get through to their parents.

"I understand 25 States in USA have enacted parental responsibility laws. Ontario, Canada has a Parental Responsibility Act and the UK has 'parenting orders' where the court can impose requirements on parents of young offenders.

"I have been working on a draft Bill to present to National's caucus in a couple of weeks time entitled the Youth Offenders (Parental Responsibility) Bill which will hold parents accountable for the actions of their children.

"Some parents do need help with parenting skills. In Government, National started work on early intervention programmes that improved parenting skills, such as Family Start. We also started Social Workers in Schools that helped children with family or social problems," Mr Steel said.


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