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CYPFA Must Not Put Kids With Gangs

The care and protection of children should no longer be put in the hands of gang members, according to ACT Social Welfare Spokesman Muriel Newman.

"The comments of Wellington District Court Judge Craig Thompson last week that a 14 year old boy would not have committed a rape had he not been placed with a patched gang member is a wake up call for CYPFA to draw the line at placing young people with gangs.

"The idea of 'care and protection' is totally at odds with the placement of children with gang members or gang associates.

"The placement has not only taken away the last hope for that 14 year old, it has stolen the life of the young woman who was his victim.

"When considering family placements CYPFA must weigh up the benefit to the child of being with family, whanau or iwi against the quality of care and protection that that placement will give the child.

"We also have to consider the wider problem of family breakdown as highlighted in this case where dysfunction and problems of crime and abuse are simply passing from one generation to the next without the cycle being broken.

"No one could call the placement of an at risk child with a gang member 'appropriate'. Children deserve better. This tragedy must be a wake up call for CYPFA to put in place a policy that stops any other children being placed with gang members," said Muriel Newman.

ENDS

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