Social Development Minister Anne Tolley says Cabinet has agreed to make major changes to state care and have a complete overhaul of the Child Youth and Family service.
Tolley says the new model will be completely child centred. The reforms will cost an extra $364m over four and a half years.
The move comes after a study found that by the age of 21, for children with a care placement who were born in the 12 months to June 1991 :
- Almost 90 per cent are on a benefit
- Almost 25 per cent are on a benefit with a child
- Almost 80 per cent do not have NCEA Level 2
- More than 30 per cent have a Youth Justice referral by the age of 18
- Almost 20 per cent have had a custodial sentence
- Almost 40 per cent have had a community sentence
These statistics are a national disgrace.
Keep in mind that these are the results of children being placed in care after being taken away from dysfunctional families.
I don't blame CYF for all of this, but it is unfathomable how these kids are ending up with foster carers that appear to be pretty crap themselves. These are already vulnerable kids and they're being placed in unsafe homes. It's kind of surreal.
The vetting process doesn't look good does it?
Daryl Brougham was in foster care from the age of three months to 18 years as a ward of the state. His book Through the Eyes of a Foster Child explains what is wrong with the system.
Brougham had over 30 placements, 20 social workers and 27 schools. He received an apology from the Ministry of Social Development last year for failing to protect him from neglect, abuse, sexual abuse and for being placed with unapproved care givers.
Pretty clear then why we have such horrible and concerning statistics.
One of the priorities of the changes announced today is to improve the recruitment strategy of caregiver families.
This well overdue and its welcome - but here's the thing: Its great that CYF is being tidied up but it doesn't address the cause - dysfunctional families.
The manufacturing line of vulnerable children is coming from feral families.
You can identify and take these kids out of their dangerous environments, but it's how they got there in the first place that is the ultimate problem.
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