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

 


Call for Official Inquiry Into Child Youth & Family

MEDIA RELEASE

8 May 2014

Call for Official Inquiry Into Child Youth & Family

Family First NZ is calling for an official inquiry in to the policies and procedures of CYF. The call, which accompanies their ongoing call for an independent CYF Complaints Authority, comes as a result of two recent cases - the manager of a Whangarei Child Youth & Family home today found guilty of sexual and physical abuse, and yesterday’s acquittal by a jury of a couple on all 14 charges of assault and ill-treatment of three boys between 2004 and 2010 brought by CYF against the couple.

“In the first case, these allegations of abuse occurred over a two year period (2011 - 2013) and disturbingly in a CYF-owned family home, where caregivers are directly sought and employed by CYF. There is obviously some huge flaws in the vetting system of caregivers, and in the level and frequency of care and communication between social workers and children in care. Parents of some of the victims are claiming to have gone to the police directly after hearing their children’s claims of abuse, and that CYF had been aware of the abuse for some time, yet failed to act swiftly and notify the families of the children. One would also question the idea of having multiple children, both males and females of varying ages, in one place,” says Bob McCoskrie, National Director of Family First NZ.

“In the second case, it highlights that caregiving is a thankless task and CYF are making it even more thankless. Caregivers are being referred very difficult and demanding children yet are being rendered completely powerless, lacking support, and at risk themselves when dealing with unacceptable and defiant behaviour. This couple was ‘hung out to dry’.”

“We’re are also questioning why the couple has been completely acquitted in court yet CYF claim they have still committed abuse. Does CYF operate under a different law which excludes reality, common sense and the rule of law?”

In the same week, a report was released by the NZ Council for Educational Research which found that a survey of Principals were not positive about CYF support. 70% said CYF workers were ‘not useful’ or of ‘mixed use’. Only 4% said they were ‘very useful’.

"However, of most concern is that there is no external and independent accountability. CYF perform a necessary function but their lack of accountability to their process and procedures should concern all families,” says Mr McCoskrie.

A report last year supported Family First’s call for an independent CYF Complaints Authority. However Family First rejected the recommendation that the Children's Commissioner be responsible for it.

“We note that a key feature of the Police watchdog (IPCA) which they promote is that they are not part of the Police, is established by law to be fully independent, and is headed by a District Court Judge, and supported by independent investigators.”

The call for an official Inquiry and an independent complaints process also comes in response to a number of recent cases – including a case of shocking abuse by two parents on their four young children - where the agency had been shown to have acted inadequately or irresponsibly on serious cases of child abuse and with dysfunctional families. At other times, CYF have not acted when there was clear evidence that they should have. Where do families turn when they believe CYF isn’t performing?” says Mr McCoskrie.

“We need to have a mechanism that ensures that families who have been notified to CYF as being at-risk are actually monitored in an appropriate way, but also to prevent abuse of families by the State. It is vital that there is independent accountability for an organisation that can make decisions to uplift children and potentially destroy families without even having to produce concrete evidence of abuse. CYF currently has an internal complaints process but virtually nobody trusts it, or knows about it, or uses it.”

“CYF work in very difficult circumstances but it is essential that there is external accountability for their actions. We are being contacted by far too many families saying that either CYF aren’t listening to serious concerns or that CYF are a ‘law unto themselves’,” says Mr McCoskrie.

“An official Inquiry will be in the best interests of the social workers, will result in public confidence and accountability for actions and decisions by CYF workers, and will protect families from abuse, and from abuse by the state,” says Mr McCoskrie.

CYF admits losing neglected children

Agency knew of carer's sex crime

CYF admits failing 12-year-old girl

Horrified judge rescues children

CYF admits mistakes made in neglect case

Abuse case sparks call for CYF watchdog

Mea culpa: CYF should have done better

CYF were investigating toddler before death

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Hager Revelations: Inquiry Into NZSIS Release Of Goff Docs

The Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security (IGIS), Cheryl Gwyn, announced today that she would be instituting an inquiry concerning allegations that the New Zealand Security Intelligence Service (NZSIS) might have released official information to Mr Cameron Slater, regarding briefings provided to the then Leader of the Opposition, for political purposes...

“I am satisfied there is a sufficient public interest justifying the commencement of an own-motion inquiry into the substance of the issues raised with my Office,” said Ms Gwyn. More>>

Goff: Director’s Letter Contradicts Key’s Claims

At yesterday’s media standup, when asked on the topic John Key said ‘I wasn’t told’...
“In a letter dated November 2011 former SIS director Warren Tucker states three times that ‘in accordance with the usual practice of keeping the minister informed’ the Prime Minister had been told. More>>


 

Parliament Today:

Electionresults.co.nz: National and NZ First Rise in Roy Morgan Poll

National has bounced back in the latest Roy Morgan Poll but the big winner has been New Zealand First who rise to their highest level of support since September 2013. More>>

ALSO:

Fish Pun Warning: By Hoki! It’s Labour’s Fisheries Policy

A Labour Government will protect the iconic Kiwi tradition of fishing by improving access to the coast, protecting the rights of recreational fishers and reviewing snapper restrictions, Labour’s Fisheries spokesperson Damien O’Connor says. More>>

ALSO:

It's Official: Governor General Gives Direction To Conduct Election

The Governor General has signed the writ directing the Electoral Commission to conduct the General Election on 20 September 2014. This is the formal authority to run the 2014 election, and enables candidate nominations to open tomorrow Thursday 21 August 2014. More>>

Gordon Campbell: No More Mr Nice Guy

When future historians seek to identify the exact moment when the prime ministerial career of John Key hit the downward slope, they may well point to Key’s interview yesterday with Guyon Espiner on RNZ’s Morning Report. More>>

ALSO:

Dirty (Politics) Weekend: Collins’ Admission Reason For Key To Act

"Despite claiming that the evidence about her in Nicky Hager's book was ‘false’ Judith Collins has now been forced to admit that she did send information about a Ministerial Services staff member to Cameron Slater for him to use in a baseless smear campaign. More>>

ALSO:

Potential Disasters: Underground Coal Fire On Denniston Plateau

Forest & Bird says one or more coal fires have broken out beneath the Denniston Plateau, and that the Department of Conservation (DOC) must stop Bathurst Resources’ preparatory mining work going on there until the fire or fires are extinguished. More>>

ALSO:

Bikes: Nats Plan $100 Million For Urban Cycleways

Prime Minister John Key has today announced $100 million in new funding will be made available over the next four years to accelerate cycleways in urban centres. More>>

ALSO:

New Tax Bracket, Child Poverty Fund: Greens Launch Billion Dollar Plan To Reduce Child Poverty

The Green Party has launched a billion dollar package to significantly reduce child poverty in New Zealand. The details of the plan were released at the party’s campaign launch in Auckland. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Politics
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news