The 5,000 children and young people in Child Youth and Family (CYF) care need an immediate child-centric approach, including a transition plan, to prioritise their wellbeing in the planned Government reforms of CYF, the Green Party said.
The Children’s Commissioner’s State of Care report, out today, is an independent monitor of CYF services that are provided for our most vulnerable children, and raises concerns about how the transition process will affect the children already in care.
“The 5,000 children and young people in care need the Minister’s immediate attention, and not to be conveniently overlooked by this Government and their proposed reforms,” Green Party Co-leader Metiria Turei said today.
“While they are developing a bigger plan for the new system, the Government has to be preparing a transition plan so that no kids are neglected while in Government care.
“When two of the six CYF residences are not able to be called safe by the Children’s Commissioner, there have to be serious concerns for children that are forced to live there.
“The change to a child-centric approach needs to start with considering what life is like for the child currently in care, and what they will be experiencing during a transition away from that.
“The first obligation is to make sure that kids are safe and well now, before launching into another round of reforms.
“The transition phase into a new CYF model brings risk to the children currently within care, and those children deserve our attention.
“The Government needs to listen to the Children’s Commissioner and ensure that there will be monitoring for any deterioration of services for children during the transition.
“These 5000 young people should be safe in Government care, not further neglected by adults that don’t consider children’s needs,” Mrs Turei said.