Judge hits back at CYF threat to take children

Radio NZ News 29 March 2017
Family First Comment: THIS is why we MUST have an independent Complaints Authority for the new Ministry for Vulnerable Children…
“In a statement, CYF deputy chief executive Murray Edridge said he was disappointed that they had not met the standards that court, lawyers, caregivers and young people had the right to expect. “I acknowledge that we should have handled this case better in focusing on what needed to happen through the courts to look after the best interests of the children.”
Not the first time…. unfortunately.

Child Youth and Family (CYF) threatened to take four children off a couple after they went to court to force the agency to help them.

And a Masterton Family Court judge has accused CYF of wanting to “wipe their hands” of the children in a bid to save money.

The siblings’ great aunt and uncle took custody of the children – two of whom have disabilities – in January last year after previous placements fell through.

In October, the couple’s lawyer spoke to the agency about formalising the custody arrangement but it was reluctant to discuss the case.

Three months later, the couple went to court effectively asking a judge to award custody to CYF.

This would allow the couple to receive more financial assistance to care for the siblings than they could get if they had to rely on help from WINZ and other agencies.

“Child Youth and Family pays a clothing allowance, they ensure setup costs are met – or they’re supposed to – bedding, beds and basic furniture for children, lawyer Belinda Inglis, who acted for the children, said.

“They meet extra costs such as medical and dental costs and respite care.”

The agency had argued that because the children had moved out of the family home, there were no longer care and protection issues so its involvement was no longer required.

In his decision, Judge Pat Grace was highly critical of the agency’s conduct, saying its opposition was “fiscally driven”.
READ MORE: http://www.radionz.co.nz/news/national/327687/judge-hits-back-at-cyf-threat-to-take-children

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