Calls for independent CYF watchdog

child neglectedRadio NZ News 27 February 2017
Family First Comment: Our 9th year of calling for this – and we’re not giving up!

There are calls for an independent authority to be set up to act as a watchdog investigating complaints and failures by Child, Youth and Family (CYF).

It comes after CYF admitted it failed by sending a toddler back into a P-using household where he died.

Law Society family law chairperson Michelle Duggan wants an independent complaints authority set up at the Children’s Commission to oversee badly-handled CYF cases.

She said the idea came up when the Oranga Tamariki bill was put to Parliament, but had not come to fruition.

“The recommendation in that bill is that it be a complaints service within the ministry.

“The New Zealand Law Society, in its submissions on the bill, have said the best sort of complaints service is one that’s independent.

Family First national director Bob McCoskrie said a complaints body could look like the Independent Police Conduct Authority, which considered complaints against police.

“If we have an independent police complaints authority, we certainly should for a state agency that has the ability to uplift children, or sometimes they’re not acting when there’s clear evidence they should be.

“[It] goes back to the question: ‘If families don’t believe CYFs are acting or performing the way they should be, who do they turn to?'”

Mr McCoskrie said the Association of Social Workers had pushed the government for an independent complaints process.
READ MORE: http://www.radionz.co.nz/news/national/325477/calls-for-independent-cyf-watchdog

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