CYFS says sorry to ‘traumatised’ family

NZ Herald Jul 31, 2009

Child, Youth and Family Services says a Christian couple are “good parents” even though they smack their children. Agency head Ray Smith said CYFS “could have done a better job” in the way it handled an allegation that the couple, Erik and Lisa, had abused their 10-year-old daughter Abigail. The father, Erik, had smacked the girl after she had a “massive meltdown”, banging her bunk against the wall and calling her mother “evil”. He said the smack was aimed at her bottom, but she wriggled and he left two red fingermarks on her back.

He said the family were “traumatised” when the agency told them on a Friday afternoon to send their two daughters to stay with friends until social workers had time to investigate the allegation on the Monday. Mr Smith said the agency “could have done a better job of talking through other options”.