Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | News Video | Crime | Employers | Housing | Immigration | Legal | Local Govt. | Maori | Welfare | Unions | Youth | Search


CYF foster parents discarded over $40 per week

Media Release – 7 July 2005

Urgent - Available for immediate use

Child, Youth and Family foster parents discarded for a mere $40 per week

Christchurch Child, Youth and Family foster parents, Bruce Stuart-Menteath and Denise Howard, are engaged in a struggle with CYF management who, for the sake of $40 per week petrol costs, are prepared to risk the stability and well-being of an at risk 6 year old boy.

For the past 15 months, Stuart-Menteath/Howard have been CYF foster parents to the boy who was removed from his parent's “care” for reasons of extreme neglect and abuse. During his stay with them the boy has blossomed, physically, mentally and emotionally. In like manner he has also benefited hugely from the care and nurturing he gets from staff at his school, which initially raised the alarm about his predicament, and that of his younger sister and older brother. His school environment - teachers, schoolmates/friends and neighbours - and his placement with Stuart-Menteath/Howard, have been the only measure of stability the boy has ever known. In recognition of the importance of the school as a stable influence CYF have been paying Stuart-Menteath/Howard $40 per week (over and above the $130 weekly boarding allowance) to cover their petrol costs to get him to school and back.

However, last year the boy’s older brother, who has even greater behavioural problems as a result of his upbringing, was removed (without warning) from the same school in order to save the Department money on his transport to and from school. Payment of the petrol costs to Stuart-Menteath/Howard has always been problematic and they were recently told that it would cease at the end of this school term and that as a consequence the boy would have to change to a school closer to their home.

In disgust at such petty short sighted management Stuart-Menteath/Howard stated to CYF that as a consequence, and in the knowledge that such management was likely to result in a reversal of the boy’s good progress, they could not in good conscience continue to work with the Department while it conducted such a management regime that was so clearly against the best interests of the child. But rather than consider the importance of Stuart-Menteath/Howard as valued foster parents and take another look at the funding of the petrol costs, the Department has merely informed them that the boy is to be removed from their care.

Stuart-Menteath and Howard believe that their previous outspokenness as strong advocates for the boy has resulted in CYF staff developing a hardened attitude towards them. Some of the other issues they have raised include: the Department’s failure to act on its legal obligations to provide the boy with access to his younger sister; the boy’s disclosure of sexual abuse from a member of his family; the unrealistic haste with which it is planned to return the boy to the care of his father and the dismissive attitude and/or rudeness with which some CYF staff have treated them.

“I get the distinct feeling that some CYF staff think that for $130 for 24/7 care, foster parents are supposed to be so grateful that they should not point out shortcomings in the Department’s management and performance, nor advocate for the best they can get for the children in their care.” Bruce Stuart-Menteath.

Footnote - CYF have stated that they will be picking the boy up on Monday 11 July.


© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines


Also, Loan Interest: Productivity Commission On Tertiary Education

Key recommendations include better quality control; making it easier for students to transfer between courses; abolishing University Entrance; enabling tertiary institutions to own and control their assets; making it easier for new providers to enter the system; and facilitating more and faster innovation by tertiary education providers... More>>


Higher Payments: Wellington Regional Council Becomes A Living Wage Employer

Councillor Sue Kedgley said she was delighted that the Wellington Regional Council unanimously adopted her motion to become a Living Wage employer, making it the first regional council in New Zealand to do so. More>>


Scoop Images:
Dame Patsy Reddy Sworn In As Governor-General

This morning Dame Patsy Reddy was sworn in as the New Zealand Realm’s 21st Governor-General. The ceremony began with a pōwhiri to welcome Dame Patsy and her husband Sir David Gascoigne to Parliament. More>>


Ruataniwha: DOC, Hawke's Bay Council Developer Take Supreme Court Appeal

The Department of Conservation and Hawke's Bay Regional Investment Company (HBRIC) are appealing to the Supreme Court over a conservation land swap which the Court of Appeal halted. More>>


With NZ's Marama Davidson: Women’s Flotilla Leaves Sicily – Heading For Gaza

Women representing 13 countries spanning five continents began their journey yesterday on Zaytouna-Oliva to the shores of Gaza, which has been under blockade since 2007. On board are a Nobel Peace Laureate, three parliamentarians, a decorated US diplomat, journalists, an Olympic athlete, and a physician. A list of the women with their background can be found here. More>>

Gordon Campbell: On The Key Style Of Crisis Management

At Monday’s post Cabinet press conference Key was in his finest wide- eyed “Problem? What problem?” mode. No, there wasn’t really a problem that top MPI officials had been at odds with each other over the meaning of the fisheries policy and how that policy should be pursued... More>>


Mt Roskill: Greens Will Not Stand In Likely Post-Goff By-Election

“The Green Party’s priority is changing the Government in 2017, and as part of that we’ve decided that we won’t stand a candidate in the probable Mt Roskill by-election... This decision shows the Memorandum of Understanding between Labour and the Green Party is working." More>>


Get More From Scoop



Search Scoop  
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news