CYF 'dumped' teens on woman

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CYF aren't providing adequate support for the family, the woman says. Photo / Thinkstock
CYF aren't providing adequate support for the family, the woman says. Photo / Thinkstock

A Whangarei grandmother has slammed Child, Youth and Family (CYF) for dumping her two young nephews at her doorstep without providing enough money to look after them.

The woman, who wishes to remain anonymous to protect the identity of the teenagers, aged 15 and 16, said they were dropped off at her Far North home on May 9 - initially for a week - with only a plastic bag containing clothes.

Since that date, CYF had given her only $100 worth of food vouchers each week but no money to take care of other expenses such as medical, clothes and fuel.

She said CYF in Otahuhu called her on May 8 and asked if she could take her nephews under her wing for a week while arrangements were being made to find a permanent place.

She doesn't mind hosting them but says CYF needs to keep its side of the bargain.

CYF officials in Papakura, she said, requested her to keep the boys past one week.

"They gave me $100 food grant in the first week, another $100 grant in the second week only after I chased them up, then $150 and another $150 food grant on Wednesday.

"I just feel they've dumped them here and washed their hands of them."

She said she was given one day's notice by CYF to take one of the boys to a pre-arranged appointment at a health clinic, and has also had to drive another to see a doctor as he couldn't sleep properly.

"The boys need clothes too. I bought a pair of boots for rugby league training the other day," she said.

Apart from the brothers, she also looks after her 3-year-old grandson and says the extra workload without adequate financial support is putting strain on her family.

Northern regional director for CYF Sharon Thom said her office had been actively supporting the woman while working through longer term care arrangements for the boys.

"We have provided help with costs associated with caring for the boys, including for food and clothing much more than the $100 a week suggested.

"We are also reimbursing her for medical expenses. This placement was intended to be a temporary arrangement."

She said while their placement had gone on for longer than originally intended, it had happened with the consent of the grandmother.

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