Anti-smacking worries push foster parents out

NZ Herald January 21, 2008

A South Auckland foster care group says a quarter of its foster parents have quit because of the “anti-smacking” law passed last year. South Auckland Caregivers Association chairwoman Allysa Carberry said the repeal of section 59 of the Crimes Act, which allowed caregivers to use reasonable force to “correct” children, had made a chronic shortage worse. “A quarter of our members have left because of section 59. I could rattle off about 10 in South Auckland. I know of many, many caregivers who have been longstanding caregivers but won’t do caregiving any more. It’s too dangerous. These kids are really hard. They just don’t care who they hurt, and you need really special people to take them on. If you have a kid that is yelling and screaming at you, what are you supposed to do?”

Child, Youth and Family Services has faced mounting problems finding foster parents in recent years, as the number of children in care has grown by 18 per cent in the past five years to 5049, while the number of single-income families with one parent available at home for caregiving has shrunk.
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