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How would you keep subsequent children safe

Media release - Subsequent children and Green Paper
January 26 2012

“How would you keep subsequent children safe?” asks Green Paper champion

“Tell it to the Green Paper,” Norm Hewitt is urging New Zealanders who want to share their ideas on how to safeguard children born to parents who already have children in CYF out-of-family care.

The Families Commission today [January 26] released a report into the issue, which was written at the request of the Social Development Minister, Paula Bennett. According to the report, nearly half of the children who are placed into CYF’s out-of-home care also have brothers or sisters who have previously been removed from their parents.

The former All Black, Norm Hewitt, is one of three champions for the Green Paper for Vulnerable Children. He said the Families Commission report makes recommendations about what could help babies who are born into families that have had older children removed, but it also asks questions, many of which involve areas of concern covered by the Green Paper, such as how closely vulnerable families are monitored, or whether there should be mandatory reporting of child abuse.

“It’s not often that we can read a report such as this one, or hear about a situation involving children, and think, ‘I think I know what could help here, and there actually is someone who will listen to what I have to say’. That’s what the Green Paper for Vulnerable Children is – it’s a discussion document that asks for your views on how we can better protect our children, including subsequent children in vulnerable families.

“This is not a new issue, and we want New Zealanders to tell us what they know works from their own experience. We know there’s a wealth of knowledge out there. Should there be ongoing monitoring so agencies can offer support, and know early on when another child is expected? Should there be better information sharing and improved reporting? What practices do you think would work to keep children in these families safe? Tell us what you think in a submission to the Green Paper for Vulnerable Children."

Saying something on the Green Paper for Vulnerable Children is easy:

• Visit www.saysomething.org.nz and make a submission online.
• Email to yourresponse@childrensactionplan.govt.nz.
• Pick up a freepost submission flyer from WINZ offices
• Mail: Green Paper for Vulnerable Children, PO Box 1556, Wellington 6140.
• Facebook: www.facebook.com/greenpaperonchildren
• Twitter: www.twitter.com/greenpapernz
Submissions close 28 February.

Have your say to help protect vulnerable children from abuse. www.saysomething.org.nz

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