Kids’ voices ‘absent in CYF complaints’ 13 Sept 2013
Child, Youth and Family has been criticised for not listening to children, with a review calling for stronger scrutiny of the organisation.

Former police commissioner Howard Broad says in his review that the independent Office of the Children’s Commissioner did not have enough money to do its job as watchdog for vulnerable children.

While the office did “good work” on limited funds, it was operated like a “boutique unit” and got only a fraction of the funding of its cousin in Australia, he said.

Last year it did not carry out any investigations, and was not expecting to do any this year either. “That is unacceptable,” Mr Broad said.

His report calls for more rigorous oversight of CYF, preferably from a better-funded children’s commissioner.

The latest figures show CYF receives about 550 complaints over a year. In the year to June 2012, 63 children were abused while under CYF care, including 23 abused by 22 CYF-appointed carers.

Children’s Commissioner Russell Wills declined to comment while the report was being considered by the minister.