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


CYFs report - Too much talk - not enough walk

CYFs report - Too much talk - not enough walk

August 28, 2015

A social agency working with fatherless boys says the lack of Government action on protecting children in care beggars belief.

Big Buddy CEO Richard Aston has been lobbying for better screening of caregivers for five years and says the Government has had plenty of time to act.

“Too much talk – not enough walk,” says Richard Aston, whose agency robustly screens volunteer mentors and matches them with fatherless boys. “Child, Youth and Family (CYF) is well aware of the vigorous vetting scrutiny we put our mentors under – they’ve known about it for years. Yet children in State care are still being physically and sexually abused. Ignorance I can forgive; wilful neglect I can’t.”

The abuse was highlighted in Children’s Commissioner Russell Wills report – State of Care 2015 - on the child protection agency. Russell Wills said CYF is good at investigating and reacting to abuse notifications but the rest of its operations were highly variable with core issues around workforce capacity and capability.

Richard Aston says he agrees with a CYFs worker who described the culture as “dump and run” in relation to placing children in care.

“I’ve recently supported one of our Little Buddies, who is in care, in court. That kid has had more homes than me and he’s only 16. And his case is not unusual. Professionals expecting him to ‘act appropriately’ defines stupidity in my opinion.”

Richard Aston says CYFs referrals to his agency are on the increase as over-worked social workers strive to reduce their workloads by referring on to under-funded agencies like Big Buddy.

“They can tick a box saying they did something. Then it’s someone else’s problem. The reality is very little funding follows that referral, despite long negotiations with the Ministry of Social Development over funding. We simply cannot keep picking up the pieces without more support.”

Principal Youth Court Judge Andrew Becroft says an overwhelming majority of young people coming through the Youth Court have care and protection backgrounds and 83% of prisoners under 20 have a CYFs record. Some 83% of the youth offenders are male and 70% come from single parent families.

“We’ve got 5000 Kiwi kids in care at any one time,” says Richard Aston. “That’s a hell of a lot of kids queuing up for the criminal justice system.”

He says the cost of rigorous vetting is inconsequential compared to the cost of picking up the pieces. “We’re talking about a massive emotional, social and economic cost here. Domestic violence is estimated to cost up to $7 billion annually and the cumulative costs over the next 10 years will climb to $78 billion if nothing changes.”

“The big question is do we have the will to stop it?”


© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Gordon Campbell: On Why Herd Immunity Isn’t A Valid Option, And What’s With Our Reluctance To Wear Masks?

Herd immunity has recently bounced back into the headlines as a tool for managing Covid-19, and as a supposed alternative to lockdowns. In the US, a group of scientists was recently brought together in the town of Great Barrington, Massachusetts by a think tank funded by the Koch brothers. The assembled scientists signed the so called Barrington Declaration, which promotes herd immunity as a rational means of re-opening US public schools and the economy at large... More>>


Gordon Campbell: On National Being Shafted By Its Own Creation

As it licks its wounds, let’s hope the National Party can still find time to look back with some pride at what it has achieved in Epsom. The Act Party’s nationwide success on Saturday night has been a tribute to National’s foresight, and to its ... More>>


Green Party: 'Fruitful Discussions ... Further Discussions To Have'

The Green Party says there is a negotiation going on with the Labour Party, but there are more discussions to be had. More>>


Border: No Changes To Border Exemptions After Fishing Crew Test Covid-19 Positive

The cases were detected after routine day three testing but the immigration minister and air commodore agree there's no need to change border exemptions. More>>

PSA: Labour-Led Government Has Mandate For Transformation, Equality And Transparency

The Public Service Association welcomes the progressive electoral landslide New Zealand voters delivered on Saturday, and the union says its members look forward to implementing policies that reduce poverty and inequality, support affordable housing ... More>>


Stats NZ: New Report Shows Significant Changes To New Zealand’s Climate

Climate change is already happening in New Zealand and could have a profound impact on future generations of New Zealanders, a new report from the Ministry for the Environment and Stats NZ says. Our atmosphere and climate 2020 , released today, includes analysis ... More>>


Judith Collins: Obese People Must Take Responsibility For 'personal Choices'

National Party leader Judith Collins has described obesity as a weakness and says people should not 'blame systems for personal choices'. More>>

Māori Party: Poll Reveals Tamihere On Cusp Of Historic Māori Movement Election Victory

John Tamihere’s election campaign is on the rise and on track to return the Māori Party to parliament, a new Māori TV poll has revealed. The poll released on 11 October during the seventh and final Māori TV Maori Electoral campaign coverage has Tamihere ... More>>

Gordon Campbell: On Four-Year Terms Of Parliament, And On How The US Courts Are Dismantling Democracy

Last week, the issue of four-year parliamentary terms surfaced again. Infuriatingly, it is being discussed purely in terms of its convenience for political parties. They’d get so much more time to enact their policies, free of scrutiny or sanction by voters ... More>>





InfoPages News Channels