Wellington, Wednesday, March 15, 2017
Labour supports the Childrens Commissioners calls for Anne Tolleys reform of the CYFs Bill to be overhauled.
Childrens Commissioner Andrew Becroft called for priority around kin care to be placed back in the Bill, and for whanau placement to be better resourced otherwise he says the Bill could lead to deep division and set us back.
The Childrens Commissioner joins the Mori Womens Welfare League, the Law Society, UNICEF and social service providers in the call for substantial changes to the Bill.
Andrew Becroft called the Bill muddled and confusing, and I agree.
We cannot support a Bill that talks about the importance of a childs cultural identity and links to their whanau, but then does not follow through in practice.
From the beginning, we told the Minister we wanted to find a way forward, but we would not support a bill that ignored evidence, let alone the voice of young people, families and Mori.
A workable solution means prioritising family, proper assessments, and much more intensive support around families who are kin carers. This would be a significant change from the current dump and run approach.
We urge the Minister to listen to the views and evidence presented to select committee today we can do better than this.
Jacinda Ardern is Deputy Leader of Labour Party and elected Member of Parliament from Mt Albert Constituency.