New Zealand Labour Party

Bleak report on the state of our children

A damning conclusion by the Children’s Commissioner today that ‘we don’t know if children are better off as a result of state intervention, but the indications are not good’ should make fixing CYFs a top priority for this Government, says Labour’s Children’s spokesperson Jacinda Ardern.

“The first public annual report released by the Children’s Commissioner paints a terrible picture of the experience children and young people have in care.

“It details children who have lived in up to 60 different placements, constantly changing case workers, lack of support, abuse and neglect while in care, and only 20% achieving level 2 NCEA.

“The Minister was right to call for a review of  CYFs through the Expert Advisory Panel but she is wrong to imply that resources aren’t part of the issue.

“This is a department that is doing its best. It is focused on the front end – getting kids out of immediate danger - but what happens to them next is dire. It has been described as ‘dump and run.’

“The Children’s Commissioner paints a clear picture about what is wrong: ‘The ability of CYF’s current workforce to improve the outcomes experienced by children in the care system is constrained in various ways -  limited resources, high caseloads and the need to invest in training.’

“The Expert Advisory Panel cannot fix everything. This is undeniably a department that needs more than advice and recommendations, it needs cross government support. And so do the 5,000 children they are caring for right now,” says Jacinda Ardern.