Friday, April 8, 2016

Lindsay Mitchell: CYF overhaul - crux of the matter overlooked again

Another voluminous  report into CYF; a long-winded ministerial response; multiple cabinet papers and a proposed radical overhaul promised

But when will the system that turns children into careless accidents or meal tickets be radically overhauled?

Because until then, none of these other investigations and re-inventions will matter a damn.

There have been welfare reforms but the number of children being born into beneficiary families remains at the same level (see graph at end of post).

The following stats come from the report:
Of children born between 2005 and 2007 and known to CYF by age five: 
 39 percent had mothers who had been receiving a benefit for more than four out of the last five years preceding their birth, and 60 percent had a primary carer who was receiving a benefit at the time of their birth, 
 37 percent had a parent who had a criminal conviction in the five years prior to the child’s birth, 
 69 percent had parents where there was a family violence incident attended by Police in the five years prior to the child’s birth, and 
 36 percent had parents who were known to CYF as a child.

(Right-click on image to enlarge)


Unknown said...

It's a cultural problem, but don't mention the fact it is primarily a maori problem, lest you be branded a racist.

Wellington Haiku said...

Are you really basing your case about the (non) impact of welfare reforms on statistics that are nine years old?

John Phillips said...

^ DO you really think that the stats will have improved since 2006 ?? They have almost certainly worsened, and we don't need statistics to tell us that.

Peter said...

As the CYF reform programme unfolds, spokespersons talk endlessly about new priorities, rationalisation and staggering new budgets to address the problem. Lindsay Mitchell has hit the nail on the head and expresses well and resposibly what most New Zealanders agonise about concerning child neglect and brutality. My recent teaching experience in a predominantly Maori area, tells me that those statistics still apply today.

Anonymous said...

gentlemen breed gentlemen

workers breed workers

and bludgers breed bludgers

what do you expect


Lindsay Mitchell said...

Wellington Haiku,
I will add in recent statistics relating to children born onto a benefit.

paul scott said...

I know a family where the grand mother [my age], was bought up in one of those horrid institutions for deserted children in Porirua in the 1950's. She became a long term beneficiary.
Her children who are about 40 and up now, were constantly in care because this mother herself was very depressed, and suicidal.
One of her girls [Lisa we can say ] has now had life long welfare dependency herself with three of her own children to three different fathers.
The son did well because he was adopted out. The two girls following are a CYPS nightmare, and have been removed from her care. Lisa managed to claim twice for sexual abuse despite all good evidence to the contrary.
Lisa supplements her benefit with drug dealing, and previously with prostitution as her own grandmother did before the start of this cycle.
The period of my knowledge of this family is 40 years.

Unknown said...

I would like to add our own personal experience with CYF in this debate. CYF tried to remove our child from our family. We were not on the benefit. No family member had any criminal record. No drug or alcohol problems. We’re not Maori. No history with CYF. No family violence. We’re not poor. We’re well educated and have good jobs.

So why did CYF take extensive efforts to remove our 14-year old child? We found out on day that our 14-year old daughter was victim of sexual crimes conducted by a child sex gang in Auckland. We took steps to protect her. CYF did not like this. CYF determined that our child’s sex and group sex with the gang is “love and romance”. CYF told us that parents are not permitted to protect their child from sex crimes, and that our daughter should be encouraged to explore her sexuality.

Many would regard CYF stance with our family as inappropriate. Many would think that if CYF took such a stance there would be significant negative consequences for them. If you think that, you are misled and don’t have a good appreciation of how NZ actually works. There is no accountability whatsoever for CYF staff (or any other NZ State employee for that matter). Official complaint channels have as their prime objective to cover-up State wrongs, protect State employees from accountability and consequences, and ensure that nothing changes. When we refused to shut-up, the State gagged us (both parents as well as our sons).

The CYF problem will not improve until there is proper accountability in NZ, and real consequences for inappropriate State behaviour.