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    4600 kids in CYF care

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    Waireka
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    4600 kids in CYF care

    Post  Waireka on Sun Apr 26, 2009 3:41 am

    Thousands of Kiwi kids continue to be taken from their families each year and put into Child, Youth and Family (CYF) care.

    Figures released to Sunday News under the Official Information Act show as of December 2008, 4643 children and teens were in the care of the government agency.

    Of those, 584 were aged under two, 713 from two to four, 1276 five to nine, 1134 aged 10-13, 903 were from 14-16 and 33 aged 17-19.

    Of the youngsters taken by CYF, 66 were at-risk babies less then one month old, and 15 were removed from their parents on the day they were born.

    The number of custody orders involving newborns has more than doubled in the past five years.

    Ministry of Social Development which includes CYF chief executive Peter Hughes said the organisation didn't make the decision to take children from their parents lightly.

    "Safety is the paramount consideration, and the decision to remove a child is not made in isolation," Hughes said.

    CYF took into account the "strengths of the parents and family" and what support was available to them in the community, he said.

    But often "there are circumstances when placing supports around the family is not sufficient to ensure the child's safety and alternative action is required".

    Hughes said "some" Kiwi kids were in the agency's care by agreement with their parents or guardians, while others were compelled to be there by court orders.

    A number of those aged 14-17 were held in CYF custody while they were being dealt with by the Youth Court.

    Hughes said about 40 percent of those in the agency's care had been placed with extended family or whanau members.

    "The vast majority of children and young people in Child, Youth and Family care are living in home environments and are free to come and go like other children cared for by family members," Hughes said.

    He said CYF did what it could to maintain family relationships but conceded "despite our best efforts not everyone will be happy with the decisions we make".

    The total number of children in CYF care has decreased over the past few years. Up to June 30, 2008, 4831 children were in CYF care 472 less than the previous year and 558 less than in the 2005/2006 financial year.

    CYF said they couldn't tell Sunday News how many children and youths it had returned to parents because their removal had been unjustified.

    Nor could they say how many times they'd apologised to parents for the behaviour of their staff or how many complaints they had received.

    Hughes said that information was "held on individual files" and would take a considerable amount of time to collate.

    But he said CYF was aware there is "public interest" in that information and had made "improvements" that will allow the department to "supply this information in the future".

    CYF had launched a new complaints process which "establishes a consistent and robust nationwide process for managing complaints", he said.

    Recent complaints against CYF include one highlighted by Sunday News in February involving 12-year-old Krystal Repia who was found dead in the service's care in 2008.

    CYF was also unable to say how many children or youths escaped from its care, although they could say how many escaped from the seven CYF centres.

    During the 2008 financial year and for the first two quarters of the 2009 financial year, one person had escaped from a CYF centre and six while in transit to one.

    During the previous year four escaped from a centre and 21 while in transit to one.

    Meanwhile, figures released by the Department of Corrections show that during the last five years 49 babies have been cared for by their locked-up mothers.

    At present, only two babies are being cared for behind bars one at Christchurch Women's Prison aged six months and another at Auckland Region Women's Correctional Facility aged eight months.

    In September last year The Corrections (Mothers with Babies) Amendment Act was passed to allow children of jailed mothers to be cared for until they are two years old. The Act also allowed mothers of any security classification to care for their children while imprisoned.

    Before that only minimum security mothers could raise their children while imprisoned and only until they were six months old.

    The new Act has not yet come into force because Corrections are awaiting funding for "additional facilities to be developed in order to accommodate toddlers".
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    Abbey
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    Re: 4600 kids in CYF care

    Post  Abbey on Sun Apr 26, 2009 8:10 am

    Isn't it amazing however, that when CYFS statistics come out, they are the only ones that do not mention as to what "race" these said, children belong too.

    Could it be, because the "natives" may be embarrassed? offended? surely not disgusted though .. as to some, this is all very "normal" family behaviour.
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    Diaz
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    Re: 4600 kids in CYF care

    Post  Diaz on Sun Apr 26, 2009 10:41 am

    Why is ethnicity important, for a report like this? The whole idea is to collate information and it's just the raw numbers to show what the agency is dealing with which doesn't deal with the issues behind why these children are in care. That is a topic of itself for which identifying problems and suggesting concrete solutions rather than pointing fingers would make much more of a difference. I don't think embarrassment would work on the worst offenders anyway, they are too far gone for social disapproval to work.

    I have to say there are some positives here, like a decrease in the number of children in care. I'd say of this number there would be a proportion that would have been in the system for a few years. it also wouldn't appear that CYFS is running rampant and taking children off 'good' parents either.

    "The total number of children in CYF care has decreased over the past few years. Up to June 30, 2008, 4831 children were in CYF care 472 less than the previous year and 558 less than in the 2005/2006 financial year."
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    master5o1
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    Re: 4600 kids in CYF care

    Post  master5o1 on Sun Apr 26, 2009 10:41 am

    Abbey wrote:Isn't it amazing however, that when CYFS statistics come out, they are the only ones that do not mention as to what "race" these said, children belong too.

    Could it be, because the "natives" may be embarrassed? offended? surely not disgusted though .. as to some, this is all very "normal" family behaviour.


    There is no need to publish that information in a bulk report. Of course, the largest could be mentioned like "70% Japanese" or something.
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    Waireka
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    Re: 4600 kids in CYF care

    Post  Waireka on Sun Apr 26, 2009 10:59 am

    Isn't it amazing however, that when CYFS statistics come out, they are the only ones that do not mention as to what "eye colour" these said, children belong too.

    Could it be, because the "blue eyed people" may be embarrassed? offended? surely not disgusted though .. as to some, this is all very "normal" family behaviour.






    It's about as relevant.

    Although I have seen some race based statistics that suggested a huge chunk of Maori children in CYF's care were placed with family.
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    Tikva
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    Re: 4600 kids in CYF care

    Post  Tikva on Sun Apr 26, 2009 11:23 am

    Although I have seen some race based statistics that suggested a huge chunk of Maori children in CYF's care were placed with family.

    How I wish that had been the case when I was given no choice but to put my kids into CYFS Care after my Ex left. It was strange, being a non-maori and frequently hearing about this thing called 'whanau', especially from my children's Granny, who very much promoted changing things for the better for her mokupuna.

    But then she decided she wasn't their Granny any more (she had adopted their father out to her Aunty), and that she was just their 'Aunty' or 'Cousin' (depending on which part of the CYFS Report you read).

    I will never forget the words of the Social Worker after she visited me about 2 days after my conversation with the 'Ex' Granny ~ as she left my doorstep on her way out the door, she said "So much for whanau!".

    Sorry, just couldn't hold that one in, Waireka, and it is in no way meant to offend Maori. It's just that because of never seeing it in action, this whole 'whanau' stuff to me is just bullshit, and sounds more like a PC word that sounds good, but has no real substance.

    Note: This Post is in no way, shape or form directed at any particular Forum Member at all, and I would appreciate it if it is received in the way that it was intended to be.

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