CYF Apology Shows Need for Complaints Authority

Family First NZ says that CYF’s apology to parents of girls targeted by two Whangarei brothers on a “sex list” highlights the need for an independent CYF Complaints Authority that is known about and easily accessible to parents.

“It took a year for CYF to take seriously the allegations of sexual misconduct by two young teenage boys, despite being given clear evidence,” says Bob McCoskrie, National Director of Family First. “Where does a family go when they believe they are being unfairly treated or ignored by CYF?”

“Family First is being regularly contacted by families who claim to have been unfairly treated by CYF social workers – yet they have no independent body to appeal to. This is grossly unfair when families are at risk, ignored, or are being ripped apart often just based on the subjective judgment of a social worker. The recent response to the CYFSWatch website shows just how deep-seated the concern is.”

“An independent CYF Complaints Authority is also in the best interests of social workers as it will provide an independent body to ensure that appropriate policy and procedures have been followed. This will result in public confidence and accountability for actions and decisions by CYF workers.”

“There is a Health and Disability Commissioner, a Police Complaints Authority, even a Motor Vehicle Disputes Tribunal. We desperately need an independent body to hear complaints about the highly sensitive nature of intervening in families.”

Family First calls on all MP’s, the majority who will have received anecdotal evidence of claims of unfair treatment by CYFS, to support the urgent establishment of an independent CYF Complaint Authority.
ENDS