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Chief Families Commissioner on Green Paper

Media release
28 February 2012
Make our voices heard

As submissions close on the government’s Green Paper on Vulnerable Children, Chief Families Commissioner, Carl Davidson, says the Families Commission takes a zero tolerance position on child abuse. “There is no excuse for child abuse,” he says, “And where extreme abuse is occurring, children should not remain in that home with those parents.”

“This is a defining moment,” says Mr Davidson. “The Green Paper offered us a once in a generation opportunity to actually put aside ideology and politics and focus on what matters for the children. This is a great opportunity to hear how we can do things differently for the sake of our children. Over the coming months I look forward to hearing what New Zealanders think we need to do to eradicate child maltreatment. We have the answers, now let’s use them.”

Based on evidence, the Families Commission submission stresses the importance of a child-centred approach Mr Davidson says “Children need to be at the centre of families and we’ve got to get that whole environment right so that these children grow up safe and loved and nurtured. You can’t make the child okay if the family is not okay. Most of the issues affecting children are adult issues so these need to be addressed.”

“We recommended the Green Paper look at longer-term prevention and a bigger picture for New Zealand. It is absolutely possible to virtually reduce child maltreatment on a large-scale and that is backed by evidence. Most countries haven’t gone down that road, but we can in New Zealand, if our leaders have the courage.”

Mr Davidson says the causes of child abuse need to be addressed. “I’m talking about looking at the prevalence of alcohol and drug addiction in this country. What approaches are we taking to rehabilitation and policing? We need to look at relationship education for our young people and intensive home visitation services that support families We should also take a good, hard look at whether it’s always best to place children with extended family. The safety of the child must be paramount.”

“Let’s look at empowering families and communities by supporting what they ARE doing well and let’s look at professional foster care for our extremely vulnerable children in state care. We have a desperate need for stable, strong family environments for these children.”

“We have made our submission publicly available on our website. I am truly excited about the next phase and seeing where the government takes these recommendations.”


Visit the Families Commission website to view the Families Commmission submission on the Green Paper on Vulnerable Children
Scoop copy: submissiongreenpaperforvulnerablechildren.pdf

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