The Chief Social Worker has taken the unusual step of releasing a practice review of CYF's involvement with the minors who killed Arun Kumar in Henderson, Auckland.
First I need to acknowledge the grief of the family of Arun Kumar.More
Child, Youth and Family (CYF) had open interventions with both boys accused of his manslaughter.
We accept we could have done more to support these boys.
CYF’s involvement in their lives began before they were even born.
They each grew up in environments where drug and alcohol use, criminal activity, family violence and anti-social behaviour impacted on their lives.
Our staff put a lot of time into trying to help these boys on a positive path.
But none of this excuses us from admitting that CYF could have done a better job.
My overwhelming reaction is a vision of the thousands more NZ children growing up in similar circumstances. Our prisons are bursting at the seams with young men who have grown up in these environments and, statistics tell us, most have already fathered two, three or more children who will follow suit. It seems to me that even though the official line maintains, "crime is reducing", the incidence of violence spilling over into innocent communities is increasing. Even the bright spot that is reducing teenage births, where many of these tragic families hail from, is probably self-selecting for the worst cases to continue. That is, those females with the most capabilities are also those who will successfully avoid a pregnancy. It's a gloomy day and a gloomy thought.