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Dunne: CYFS can never 'parent' our children

Dunne: CYFS can never 'parent' our children

Two tragedies in yesterday's news should be a reminder to all that the key to keeping our children safe will never be found by simply fixing CYFS' obvious failings, but by holding parents accountable, United Future leader Peter Dunne said today.

"It means you don't just sit there and take it as read that you're 13-year-old son has left school to run a tinny house. And then two years later, wonder why he's found dead in a pool of blood," Mr Dunne said.

"It means that you don't go from violent relationship to violent relationship, dragging your kids through multiple schools and myriad houses, until finally some thug does them in, and then simply turn around and ask why the system failed you.

"And yes, the system does fail, but there is altogether another failure that we as a society need to address, and it is a failure of families, a failure of parenting.

"When these tragedies occur - while we rightly ask questions of the State apparatus that is there to intervene in such situations and too often fails to do so - we must also turn to the parents ... the mothers, the fathers, and say 'where were you when your child needed you; when you're child was in danger?'

"There is too little responsibility at an individual and family level.

"It may well be an awkward part of the equation, but it is a valid part. And we won't start making inroads into our appalling child murder statistics until we start putting the responsibility for the welfare of children, in the very first instance, back on parents, and their support - grandparents, uncles, aunts and the like," Mr Dunne said.

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