Damning report reveals 117 kids abused in CYFS care last year

OneNewsNow 27 August 2015
Children’s Commissioner Dr Russell Wills released his first State of Care report on Child, Youth and Family (CYFS) this morning, which casts doubt on whether New Zealand’s vulnerable young are any better off with the service.

It found more than 80 per cent of children in CYFS care leave school without achieving NCEA Level Two and also concluded that the longer a child spends in CYFS care, the more likely they are to experience harmful consequences.

The report also found that 117 children were abused last year while in CYFS care.

CYFS was working with limited resources under high caseloads, the report said, and reliable data showing how many kids re-enter CYFS care after returning home was not available.

The Green Party is now calling for an “emergency level” response from the government.

“We want to hear from the Minister for Social Development what she will be doing today, this morning, to ensure that children are safe in care and that state carers are going out of their way to ensure they have all the opportunities for a happy childhood,” MP Jan Logie said.

Children’s Commissioner slates CYF care
3News 27 August 2015
Child, Youth and Family (CYF) has been slated for how it looks after children in its care.

Children’s Commissioner Russell Wills, in his first annual report on the state child protection agency, has given it a long list of ways to improve.

His State of Care 2015 report, released today, says CYF is good at investigating and reacting to abuse cases but the rest of its operations were highly variable.

Christian lobby group Family First wants an independent watchdog to oversee CYF.

“If CYF was a family, it would have had state intervention by now,” says director Bob McCoskrie.

“Despite the important work it does and some excellent social workers, there is increasing evidence of massive systemic failure in the organisation as a whole.”