New Zealand Labour Party

Debate over responsibility lets kids down

A review into how Child Youth and Family handled the ‘roastbusters’ case highlights how the victims were overlooked while agencies debated whose role it was to intervene and on what basis, Labour’s Justice and Children’s spokesperson Jacinda Ardern says.

“There has obviously been a major breakdown in communication between CYFS and the police. Even if the police felt they couldn’t bring any prosecutions there was definitely scope for CYFS to intervene, and they didn’t.

“While it would be simplistic and wrong to blame social workers per se - the report notes the enormous capacity and resourcing issues CYFS is facing – there are some real lessons to be learned.

“These were kids at a vulnerable age. Their care and protection should have been front of mind for everyone involved.

“CYFS is currently under review. If we want to do better in future then we need Minister Anne Tolley to recognise the problems don’t just lie with the processes, but with resourcing as well,” Jacinda Ardern says.