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

 

Time to start moving on outdated children’s residences

Time to start moving on outdated children’s residences


EMBARGOED UNTIL 5:00am MONDAY 15 MAY

15 May 2017

The conditions for children in many of New Zealand’s secure residences are prison-like, dated and bleak, and it’s time to move on better alternatives, Children’s Commissioner Andrew Becroft says.

A new report from the Office of the Children’s Commissioner shows the care of young people in Oranga Tamariki residences is improving but fundamental changes are needed.

Judge Becroft says State of Care: A focus on Oranga Tamariki’s secure residences shows the standard of care and conditions across the country’s five care and protection and four youth justice residences is far too variable.

“There’s no doubt staff are trying their best but the truth is that the children and young people in care and protection residences have committed no crimes and they should not be locked up in large institutions which are unsuitable settings for young people’s needs.

“The report shows the overall performance of both care and protection and youth justice residences is middling and there’s room for significant improvement. There are some pockets of excellent practice but also sub-standard practice.”

The report covers July 2016 until March 2017 and includes monitoring of seven of the nine Oranga Tamariki residences with a total of 174 beds. It includes monitoring of the treatment of young people, protection, material conditions, medical services, activities, personnel, and responsiveness to young Māori, Judge Becroft says.



“These are our children and young people with the most complex behaviours. Bringing them together in secure institutions, and in the case of the youth justice residences effectively in prisons, makes positive interventions difficult. While I have no doubt that Oranga Tamariki wants to do its best by these young people, I hope this report will be a platform for significant change. It should be the catalyst for developing new models.

“We need to have most of these young people securely supervised. However their lives are not set in stone and the current model and conditions don’t give them the best chance of becoming productive adults as the mothers and fathers of tomorrow. Most would be much better off in small, community-based centres with proper therapeutic supervision and programmes.”

The report found no evidence of systemic abuse in the residences. “However, given the bullying and all-too-common undercurrent of violence, we need more funding to visit each of these residences more often.”

The Office of the Children’s Commissioner monitors the residences under the United Nations Optional Protocol to the Convention Against Torture, and the Children’s Commissioner Act 2003.

ENDS


© Scoop Media

 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

National Terrorism Threat Level Moves To Medium
Medium is defined as a terrorist attack is assessed as feasible and could well occur. The new level remains higher than it was before the 15 March terrorist attack when the threat level was low. More>>

SCOOP COVERAGE: CHRISTCHURCH MOSQUES TERROR ATTACK


Environment Aotearoa 2019: Report Warns Environment In Serious Trouble

The report is jointly produced by the Ministry for the Environment and Statistics New Zealand, and is a follow on from the last report in 2015.

The report says the way New Zealanders live and make a living is having a serious impact on the environment, and the benefits New Zealanders get from being in nature, though not measured or quantified, could be lost. More>>

 

Gordon Campbell: On Scrapping The Capital Gains Tax

As PM Jacinda Arden said yesterday, there was no point in Labour bringing a proposal into the House that it didn’t have the votes to get passed. Looking back, maybe she always felt this outcome to be inevitable... More>>

ALSO:

City Rail Link: Billion Dollar Cost Rise (And Preferred Bidder)

The revised cost envelope for completing the entire Auckland City Rail Link project now totals $4.419 billion. The revised cost has yet to be endorsed by the project’s sponsors (the Crown and Auckland Council). More>>

ALSO:

Meth Scare: Debt Write-Off For HNZ Meth Testing Evictions

People living in Housing New Zealand (HNZ) properties who were wrongly evicted because of flawed methamphetamine contamination policies will have their related debts with the Ministry of Social Development (MSD) written off. More>>

ALSO:

RNZ Report: Fears Grow For NZ Nurse Kidnapped In Syria

A New Zealand nurse working for the Red Cross was captured by Islamic State (IS) in Syria more than five years ago, and there are now public pleas for any information that could help bring her home. More>>

ALSO:

Streets Blocked In London: Climate 'Extinction Rebellion' Reaches Aotearoa

Across the world, thousands of people are taking part in a rebellion to avert climate, ecological and human catastrophe. This begins in Aotearoa New Zealand today. More>>

ALSO:

 
 
 
 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

  • PARLIAMENT
  • POLITICS
  • REGIONAL
 
 

InfoPages News Channels