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

 


Improved vetting needed yesterday

Improved vetting needed yesterday

June 17, 2013

Improved vetting of Child, Youth & Family caregivers can't come soon enough, says the head of a mentoring programme that has successfully screened over 550 men since 1997.

Big Buddy CEO Richard Aston’s call follows the release of child abuse statistics showing a 32% rise over the last five years. More than 21,000 cases were reported last year, resulting in some 4000 children being placed in supposedly safe CYF homes. At least 23 of these children were further abused in care.

“This is simply unacceptable and should not be happening,” says Richard Aston. “Improved vetting should be an absolute priority for Government if we want to safeguard vulnerable children – particularly those taken into care. If Big Buddy can do it for fatherless boys, CYF can do it for children in their care.”

The Children’s Action Plan – released last October - promised new vetting and screening guidelines within six months and draft legislation by the end of this year.

“I wonder how that’s going,” says Richard Aston. “It’s simply not good enough for Prime Minister John Key to say the higher rates probably reflect increased reporting. 23 children being abused in care is 23 too many.”

The latest figures prompted District Court Judge Carolyn Henwood to call for an independent monitoring organisation for children in care.

Richard Aston says independent monitoring is a sensible suggestion, but “let’s start where the problem is - with the abusers - not the children. Let's get serious about protecting our children by urgently setting up an independent screening agency."

The call for urgent action is supported by Family Action CEO Michelle Clayton. “We work with children and adults who have experienced abuse and see the devastating effects on their lives and enormous impact on their families. Steps to protect children should be a priority.”

Ministry of Social Development deputy chief executive David Shanks said criminal checks for CYF placements only became compulsory early in 2012. He said the process had since been strengthened “with staff expected to do police checks if there were any concerns around family/whanau placements”.

But criminal checks are simply not good enough, says Richard Aston. "A police check is just one part of a much bigger screening process. We have developed a robust 360-degree process to ensure the safety of the fatherless boys we work with. We are confident we can identify emotionally unsafe men and active and potential sex offenders, who we would not accept as mentors. I challenge CYF to do the same, as an urgent priority."

www.bigbuddy.org.nz
www.familyaction.org.nz

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Gordon Campbell:
On Gaza And Burning The Israeli Flag

One of the selling points in New Zealand’s campaign for a temporary seat on the Security Council is that we have a pluckily independent voice to offer on international conflicts.

This image is not entirely self-delusional. When we did occupy a temporary UN Security Council seat in the 1990s, New Zealand was forthright about the need for the international community to actively respond to the Rwanda genocide. On April 14, 1994, New Zealand, Nigeria and the Czech Republic were the only nations to call for a forceful UN intervention to halt the killings. It was a proud moment in the diplomatic record of the Bolger government.

What then, is the current National government doing with respect to the slaughter in Gaza? More>>

 

Parliament Today:

TAIC Report: Urgent Recommendations After Melling Rail Accident

The Transport Accident Investigation Commission has made four urgent recommendations to KiwiRail following the accident two months ago (27 May) when a Matangi passenger train collided with a stop block at Melling Station, Lower Hutt. More>>

ALSO:

Red Tape: Local Regulations Go Under Microscope

The Government says it is accepting nearly all of the recommendations the Productivity Commission has made on ways to improve local regulations. More>>

ALSO:

Spending Questions: Claudette Hauiti To Step Aside At Election

National Party President Peter Goodfellow confirms that he has received notification from List MP Claudette Hauiti that she plans to step aside at the 20 September election. More>>

ALSO:

EPA: Board Of Inquiry Rejects Basin Flyover By Majority Of 3 To 1

The independent Board of Inquiry delegated to decide on the Basin Bridge Proposal has, by a majority decision (3 to 1), cancelled the Transport Agency’s Notice of Requirement and declined its resource consent applications for the construction, operation and maintenance of a flyover on State Highway 1 in Wellington City... More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On The Non-Apology To Tania Billingsley

The refusal by Prime Minister John Key to issue a personal apology to Tania Billingsley has been accompanied by an array of excuses... Yesterday though, Key’s choice of words indicated that an apology was the last thing on his mind. More>>

ALSO:

Conventions: Winston Peters On The Nation

Winston Peters opens door to standing in East Coast Bays electorate, says it's an "exciting point" and he's thinking about it. "I’ve had a whole lot of people writing to me and calling up and saying ‘why don’t you have a go in East Coast Bays’." More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
Politics
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news