More calls for an independent CYF Complaints Authority

From the NZ Herald

A sharp jump in the number of day-old babies taken into state custody has sparked fresh calls for an independent watchdog authority for Child, Youth and Family. Figures released to the Herald revealed 42 babies were taken into CYF custody less than a day after their birth in the 2009/10 year – a total more than triple the year before. The spike has surprised the head of a national anti-violence network and prompted a new call by lobby groups for the Government to establish a CYF complaints authority. “When you’ve got CYF going into families like this and intervening in a sensitive area of families, there must be an independent point of appeal for families involved,” said Family First’s Bob McCrofskey.

Heck – McCrofskey. Sounds Russian ๐Ÿ™‚

“CYF don’t always get it completely right and yet there’s no avenue of appeal. “We need to make sure families are getting fair grounds for disputing intervention where intervention isn’t warranted.” A Family First-commissioned poll in March found that 65 per cent of respondents supported the concept, which is also being backed by the Sensible Sentencing Trust lobby group. The figures showed the number of babies taken into CYF care had generally climbed over the past few years – 248 babies were taken into state custody in 2009/10, compared with 202 five years before.


9 comments for “More calls for an independent CYF Complaints Authority

  1. A M Dewar
    27 June 2011 at 5:22 pm

    We totally agree from experience that there is no accountability for CYPS actions. Their actions are so serious in pulling families apart even when there is little real reason, that they must be able to be held accountable.

  2. Nelles
    27 June 2011 at 6:55 pm

    I can’t agree more; the sooner CYFs is held accountable the better. After nearly three months of laying a complaint about a CYF’s caregiver, we have still had no response to any action being taken and as far as we are aware this inappropriate caregiver who inadequately “cares” for “children in care” is still allowed to take on more children. Because there is no independent complaints authority, CYFs can just dismiss the compliant (until something really serious happens and it ends up in the media).

  3. Sue
    28 June 2011 at 2:03 am

    Sad that many of these children will be doomed to a life in state care. The Government needs to get on and reform the adoption law and make adoption a real alternative for these children.

  4. Bob
    28 June 2011 at 11:33 am

    We’ll be asking John Key and Phil Goff at the Forum next week about the promotion of adoption , Sue!

  5. Ian
    28 June 2011 at 3:29 pm

    CYF are taking babies at an alarming rate even to the point of holding people that should be charging the welfare agents as kidnappers. They pushed the father of a newborn out of the hospital room half hour after birth. They had no legal reason for this and he had no legal impediments at all. Then they put a 24 hour guard on the new mother’s door and stopped all visits. Then they said if people showed their identity they could enter if she asked for them. Then the welfare hid her in a secret location and told the person in charge of the house to stop the new mother from leaving the property. That is kidnapping. Social Welare ought to be disbanded and charged with kidnapping.

  6. 28 June 2011 at 8:42 pm

    CYFS can’t be trusted to make these decisions – All to often they get-it-wrong – I know longer beleive the ideals governing CYFS is best for our FAMILIES – In fact I beleive we are seeing NAZI Philosopy here designed to destroy our **Whole Natural Biological FAMILIES – From the Spin Doctored News Releases from CYFS to the heavy harded ABUSE of their power – Onward:) – Jim

  7. Karen
    29 June 2011 at 2:00 am

    I have to say I am one of the foster mothers who has taken on a one day old child straight from the hospital, he is three now. I can honestly say if he was not taken he would be dead now. He is special needs through the Drugs and amount of Alcohol consumed by the mother during pregnancy and he is the last child of a numerous amount of children. Child Youth and Family have been awesome especially to his parents and they have just failed again and again to follow through. I think every case has to be taken very seriously and I can tell you the Social Workers agonise over taking small children away and always put them with family if possible as soon as humanly possibly. Child Youth and Family in our area are awesome and are doing a Great Job. They should be given credit for all the great jobs they do and the lives they save that no one else hears about, especially like our wee man.

  8. Karen
    29 June 2011 at 2:09 am

    My Foster Children are treated just like my own children and I am telling you they are not doomed to a life in State Care, we are currently becoming the Legal Guardians of one of our foster children, our three year old to whom we have had from birth. He is part of our family and has been since day 1. He has rights, right to be fed, clothed, loved, etc, and not neglected. His brothers and sisters call him exactly that, he is not refered to as their foster brother and he is the most beautiful caring little man anyone could ever meet, and it is our privilege to have him legally becoming ours.

  9. Bob
    29 June 2011 at 1:54 pm

    Thanks Karen. We agree.

    The media report was based on only part of our comments taken out of context. When contacted by the NZ Herald, our first comment about the increase in babies taken in to custody was that it is appropriate that CYF is being proactive rather than reactive with children and babies who are clearly at risk right from birth. How often do we hear โ€˜the family was known to CYFโ€™? Some parents simply should not be allowed to parent children and we must do everything to put children first in these dysfunctional families.

    But with this type of power to intervene in families comes accountability. At the moment, there is no independent CYF accountability to families. As we also said and was reported, there must be an independent point of appeal for families involved where they feel they have been unfairly treated.

    But thank you for being a postive solution to our problems of at-risk families ๐Ÿ™‚

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