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Welfare of children in hands of Asses

Media Release:

14th October 2008

Welfare of children in hands of Asses

Last week a 7-year-old girl was snatched while visiting her grandparents for the school holidays. The girl who has been living with her father in Sydney since January, was staying with her West Auckland grandparents for the holidays when she was taken by her drug-addicted mother last Tuesday (7 October).

Sensible Sentencing Spokesperson on Drug Issues, Christine Davey, notes that Police are quoted as saying today (13th October) that they were aware of the snatching but told TV3 News “the mother had not done anything criminal yet in relation to her daughter.”

Ms Davey says that “that sums up in a nutshell why children in NZ end up abused and / or dead at the hands of a drug-using parent.

The girl's mother is known to be a P addict and associating with criminals, and was due in court today on drug charges.

Isn't that enough to warrant acting out of concern for this girl's welfare????

New Zealand has a horrific record of children being abused and/or dying at the hands of parents who are P users.

The message is loud and clear – Caregivers on P and children do not belong together!!!

NZ's  Care of Children Act 2004  makes the “welfare of the child the most important priority”.

The Act also shifts the focus away from parents' rights, towards parents' responsibilities for their children.

CYF Policy states that “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 enactment of the Care of Children Act is not achieving its goal, simply because it's being applied reactively instead of proactively. Our children deserve better than that!!!

Children rely on adults to keep them safe. Yet on a daily basis their lives are put at risk by caregivers whose judgment is impaired by substance abuse – and by Police and CYF who insist on waiting for the abuse to occur before acting to remove the child from that environment.

If this 'snatched' girl is harmed while in the care of her drug-addict mother, then the Police are to blame for waiting for the mother to do something criminal in relation to her daughter.

Whatever happened to common sense?

It's not only the law that is an ass..........”


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