Family First NZ says that the proposed ‘boot camps’, monitoring, and Youth Court residential sentences proposed by the government will only work if the parents and families of young offenders are included in the process.
“In many cases, the youth offending has simply been an outcome of a dysfunctional home life, drug and alcohol abuse within the home, family breakdown and other contributing factors,” says Bob McCoskrie, National Director of Family First NZ.
“This doesn’t mean that the parents need to go to military training but it does mean that the corrective work and support needs to be targeted at both the young offender and the family.”
“For too long we have separated young people and their rights from the family and environment in which they are being raised. In some cases, this has undermined the efforts of good parents to place appropriate boundaries on their children. In other cases, it has prevented social agencies tackling the real problem which is dysfunctional parenting.”
“If we only treat the teenager without addressing the underlying problems within the home, then the programme is doomed to failure.”
“The government has suggested compulsory parenting education orders and this is a step in the right direction, but it is going to be a holistic approach towards reforming the family that is going to bring about success,” says Mr McCoskrie.
“Boot camps without parental and family involvement is simply a short term solution to a long term problem.”