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CYF and At-Risk Children


CYF and At-Risk Children

A Jigsaw spokesperson implores us to find the courage to speak out when we suspect a child is being harmed, in order to keep that child safe and alive. And in an ideal world this would work.

Unfortunately NZ is not an ideal world for at-risk children, and the obstacle is none other than CYF themselves.

Look at the latest headline from the child's death in Nelson - “CYF twice notified about dead boy's family ”.

Look at the headline from the last child death, in Dunedin: “Child Youth and Family is reviewing the case of a 22-month-old toddler allegedly murdered by her mother in Dunedin last month (May 08) to see if it could have done more to help.”

There are many more cases where children have been hurt or died in families known to CYF.

Fight Against P has done the research, made submissions to Parliament, interviewed CYF – to no avail. We have evidence of Grandparents who go to CYF concerned about the welfare of their grandchildren in families where drugs are used. CYF interview the parents, who assure CYF that everything is fine – and the matter is dropped.

We have a CYF Executive Manager on record as saying that “ Parents have the right to raise their children anyway they like”, and “grandparents have no rights”.

The Care of Children Act 2004 makes the “welfare of the child the most important priority”. That Act shifts the focus away from parents' rights, towards parents' responsibilities for their children.

CYF have a similar Act, which states:
“A risk estimation assessment must be completed for every case where a social worker reasonably believes that child abuse or neglect has occurred.”

THIS is the very reason why NZ has such a damning record of child abuse and death.
That risk assessment should be if “child abuse or neglect has, or is likely to occur”, especially if the caregiver is known to have a history of misusing drugs or alcohol.

The current Acts are not achieving their goal, simply because they're being applied reactively instead of proactively.

And our children are dying as a result.


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