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Parents of Young Offenders Being Let Off the Hook

Darroch Ball MP
Spokesperson for Social Development
3 MARCH 2017

PARENTS OF YOUNG OFFENDERS BEING LET OFF THE HOOK

“There needs to be greater responsibility by parents for young offenders, says New Zealand First.

“Parenting orders were meant to play a vital role in helping parents of youth offenders address their children’s issues, provide the support needed and potentially reduce re-offending but are just not being utilised, says New Zealand First Spokesperson for Social Development, Darroch Ball.

“Of the over 5000 Family Group Conference proceedings against youth offenders in 2015 the number of parents on parenting programmes numbered just 131 - and of these only 7 were under a parenting order by the court.

“In 2016 this number was just 3.

“It’s astounding that the numbers of parents being ordered to attend a parenting programme is so low given the majority of teenage offenders are already known to Child Youth and Family.

“Child Youth and Family have stated that parenting orders are rarely sought and never enforced and that a lack of parenting support is one of the underlying causes of offending.

“It’s unacceptable that these youth are placed back into the same home environment, where they have to deal with the same issues that contributed to their offending in the first place. More often than not, the go on to re-offend.

“National needs to step up and deliver on these parenting orders, and give troubled youth a chance.

“Nothing will be solved if we continue to allow troubled youth to be placed straight back into the exact same home environment that originally caused their issues,” says Mr Ball.

ENDS

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