CYF removes fewer children
Child, Youth and Family is removing fewer children from their southern families compared with five years ago, figures show.
Thirty-nine children in Southland were removed from their homes and placed into the care of the Ministry of Social Development between July 1 last year and June 30 this year. This was down from 49 in the 2008-09 year.
Child, Youth and Family also removed fewer children from their homes in other parts of the south in the past five years, the figures show.
The reason for the drop could not be pinpointed by the ministry, except to say there were a variety of reasons and every case was different.
Child, Youth and Family deputy chief executive Bernadine Mackenzie said children and young people went into the care of the ministry for several reasons and they were often complex.
They could have experienced neglect, serious physical, sexual and emotional abuse or they may have displayed difficult behaviour or presented a risk to themselves or others, she said.
The time they spent in CYF care depended on the particular issues they had at home and the harm the children had experienced.
In some cases, investigations resulted in children being unable to remain or return home.
The removal of children from their parents was a decision not taken lightly, Ms Mackenzie said.
The interest of the children was paramount and if no suitable family member was identified as being able to safely care for them, they would be placed with an approved Child, Youth and Family caregiver. Whenever possible, the relationship between child and family was maintained and strengthened, she said.
At any one time about 4000 children nationwide are in Child, Youth and Family care.
In the southern rural area of Oamaru, Alexandra, Balclutha and Gore, 41 children were placed into Child, Youth and Family care between July 1 last year and June 30 this year. This compared with 49 five years ago.
In Dunedin, 45 children were placed into Child, Youth and Family care in the last financial year compared with 86 five years ago.
Workers reflect, Page 2
- © Fairfax NZ News
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