Survey exposes fear of services

Wairarapa Times-Age 27th November 2010
A young mother who stitched her own injury at home to avoid losing her children if she went to hospital is just one of the stories a survey on Masterton’s social services has revealed. The report was commissioned by the Families Commission and involved phone interviews with 400 families from the Masterton district, carried out between April and May of this year. Initiated by a request from Minister of Social Development Paula Bennett, the report also held extensive interviews with 39 local families, three-quarters of which were Maori, about access to social services. In one of those interviews, a district health board employee was quoted as saying a young mother once stitched herself up after receiving a cut because she was too scared to go to hospital in case Child, Youth and Family got involved and took her child. Another teenage parent said they avoided going to the police because of the same fears.