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Too many CYFS children moved around

Too many CYFS children moved around

The Government must stop playing pass the parcel with the nation’s most vulnerable children and make greater efforts to provide permanence in their lives, says National Social Services Spokesperson Katherine Rich.

“Last year 1183 children under the care of the Department of Child, Youth and Family Services (CYFS) had 3 or more foster care placements. That means nearly a quarter of all children in CYFS care.

“It is unacceptable that such a large percentage of children in care are subject to three or more placements in a year. With such disruption in their lives these children have little chance of feeling secure or establishing nurturing relationships with adult caregivers.

“The figures for Northland, Waikato, Taranaki, the upper South Island and Southland are the most concerning. These are areas with small populations which appear to have large numbers of children moving around.

“It concerns me that CYFS is moving so many children around so regularly. This is disastrous for babies and toddlers, in particular, in the critical first three years of life.

“Sadly, this is not a new issue. Two years ago Judge Mick Brown highlighted these problems to the Minister in his CYFS review “Care and Protection is About Adult Behaviour” and offered some excellent ideas for solutions.

“After making strong statements that all Judge Brown’s recommendations would be implemented, little progress has been made. The Minister has confirmed to me in a written question that out of 57 recommendations only 13 have been completed in two years.

“While children in care of the State continue to be shunted about, it’s clear that the Government has fallen well short of its own target,” Mrs Rich said.

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