New Zealand Labour Party

Commissioner fears for children in residences

The Children’s Commissioner today admitted the current monitoring and inspection of Child, Youth and Family residences is insufficient and could be putting children at risk, Labour’s Children’s spokesperson Jacinda Ardern says.

“Dr Russell Wills today told a select committee that ongoing financial constraints last year meant annual inspections had dropped back to every 18 months – and admitted that was not often enough.

“The Commissioner identified two CYFs residencies where he was concerned about the care children were receiving and said those residencies needed more regular monitoring.

“Russell Wills raised these concerns with Social Development Minister Anne Tolley, but nothing has changed.

“The Commissioner’s office hasn’t been given the resources it needs to ensure the safety of these kids. That puts them between a rock and a hard place.

“It is extraordinary to have a watchdog like the Children’s Commissioner tell Parliament ‘we don’t have the capacity we need’.

“The Minister needs to take urgent action to make sure kids in care are safe, given the Commissioner can no longer guarantee that they are,” Jacinda Ardern says.