Thursday, December 22, 2011

CYF ethos must change

Well done to the government for releasing the Smith Report into the abuse of Baby M. The praise stops there.

CYF was involved with the child, born in 2000, from the outset.

The most striking thing revealed and not covered in the media (yet) is the baby spent almost four years, early years, with a non-whanau caregiver who provided, by all accounts good quality care. This was the most "stable" period of the child's life. The caregiver wanted to take the child to Australia but the mother opposed this move. Counsel for the child wanted the child to remain with the caregiver. CYF "professionals", bless them, thought that the child should be with whanau for "cultural and identity" purposes.

The report is heavily critical of CYF. Its relationship with medical professionals (distrustful) and schools (poor communication). There is too much haste in placing children back with family or whanau members, who are not thoroughly "investigated" or "supervised" after a placement. Mel Smith believes that the "pendulum" has swung too far into the corner of the family instead of the child, and adult interests override those of children.

Of course children as meal-tickets - my constant refrain - isn't mentioned but falls under that very theme. And the mother was most surely on welfare throughout. After baby M she had three more. There is mention at one point that when the mother had illegally uplifted a sibling from care CYF filed a missing persons report with the police. Her benefit was suspended so she came forward. Of course she would. Children aren't much value when they don't elicit money from the system.

I would urge you to read the report to get an idea of how bureaucratic the child protection system is; the extent of agency involvement and the manipulation of those agencies by people who play the game. Their income relies on it. The mother is reported as gambling the money, living in filth leading to children with sores and infections. The mother evaded inspections of her children's bedrooms by claiming they were "tapu". The baby M became highly dysfunctional herself as an older child, reported to have poisoned the family food and put dishwasher liquid in a babies bottle. She also made false claims of sexual assault against a male caregiver (Don't you tire of this ridiculous misnomer - caregiver?)

But let's return to the beginning. She should never have been returned to the mother who had herself been involved with CYF from her teenage years. CYF ethos and practice needs to come under heavy scrutiny.

9 comments:

Kiwiwit said...

I wouldn't "bless" those involved, I would charge them with negligent complicity in the crimes against the child. It is past time that such people were held responsible for their actions. If CYF staff consider "cultural and identity" factors trump the safety of the child, they should be held personally accountable for the outcomes.

Well done and thanks, Lindsay, for being a real advocate for the poor and powerless in society and advocating rational policies for self-improvement rather than just mouthing the usual platitudinous slogans of the political left.

Brendan said...

The State makes an awful parent.

It's past time we stopped rewarding this Mothers dysfunction, and those like her by incremental payments for each additional child.

There is no humane excuse for anyone to systematically abuse their children this way.

Keep up the good work Lindsay.

Anonymous said...

Brendan I agree with you that we should not reward dysfunction.This dysfunction does also occur throughout society not just with Solo mothers.

Paulus said...

Sad Sad Sad - poor defenceless children being brought up on welfare dependants of generations. Makes you weep as its happening again NOW.

Anonymous said...

NZ, gone to the dogs. And the powers that be, don't care.
Defenceless childred left at the mercy of the selfish, and the state don't care and don't want to know.
PC has ruined NZ.

unsolicitedious said...

Fantastic post Lindsay - love that you are so tireless in your determination to be a voice for those who cannot speak for themselves.

What gets me is those who preach from the roof tops about how they are advocating for children (such as Jacinda Ardern or the CPAG) are in fact adding to the problem when the continue to push for more welfare, more handouts and no accountability.

I will definitely read the Smith Report in detail - perhaps when I am not home alone, have had more sleep & are less inclined to sob my way through it. Funny thing about those of us parents who are switched onto this issue - we take each case we read to heart. And Paula Bennett is not exception.

I agree that the child should never have been returned to her mother given that she had loving & stable caregivers ready to take her into their lives & hearts for life.

My biggest issue is all those thousands of children who don't have decent support, where every family member is as messed up as the next. What happens to them? Good foster parents are in short supply - we have thought about it, but honestly it is a MAMMOTH ask so if not us, not you, not other commentators then who? Who will care for all these children if the govt agencies manage to successfully intervene early & remove them?

If we can't answer this question then we dont have a solution to child abuse.

Bruce S said...

What happened to 3 strikes and you're out? CYFS are, by far and away the biggest recidivist criminals in the country. With their help New Zealanders are killing more kids than ever. Why do we persist with this bureaucratic nightmare?

dad4justice said...

CYF must be destroyed NOW!

How many young girls names do you want John Key- that have been raped by CYF care givers?

RIP = Coral etc............

Put me on TV and I will read them all out- so people can cry.

Yeah right. This country is beyond sick.

Poor kiwi kids - NO one cares!

Anonymous said...

I agree with you that we should not reward dysfunction.

Excellent! So you agree that we should just stop all benefits immediately! Because to do otherwise we reward massive disfunction.

This dysfunction does also occur throughout society not just with Solo mothers.

No, but with solo mothers you and are paying for it (and so we, rather than the bludger moms, are morally responsible for it). Again, the moral is simple: stop the benefits, the DPB, the dole, the sickness, the super, stop the lot