CYF review of Isaiah Neil’s death finds social workers took ‘shortcut’ to meet KPI deadline

NZ Herald 21 October 2017
INVESTIGATION: CYF review shows social workers took shortcut to meet timeframe, then let case “languish” for months.

Social workers took “shortcuts” to meet deadlines when warned about a dysfunctional family of a baby who later died inside a hot car, according to a review of the death.

Staff at the Child Youth & Family office in Whakatane were routinely opening “assessment” records when safety concerns were raised about children, even if the assessment was not completed.

This was to meet internal performance timeframes, but often meant there was no urgency for social workers to finish the safety assessment.

“Unfortunately these shortcuts become ‘normal practice’ very quickly and there was resistance by some to return to best practice,” the review author wrote.

Staff at the Whakatane site were told in September 2015 to stop opening assessment records early and clear the backlog of cases.

But this was too late for Isaiah Neil.
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