The Waimakariri River

Child, Youth and Family orders full and urgent review of family’s case

15 December 2012.

Child, Youth and Family Deputy Chief Executive Bernadine Mackenzie has ordered a full and urgent review of the agency’s involvement with a family it's worked extensively with. 

The decision follows a ruling by the Family Court that four children should have been taken from their parents sooner. 

“I agree with Judge Clarkson’s ruling that these children should have been taken from their parents and I apologise that this didn't happen. 

“These children are now safe and well and living with an approved CYF caregiver. 

“I’m deeply concerned by the way we've worked with this family and have ordered a thorough case review to get a full understanding of what we did and didn’t do... and why. 

“The review will be carried out by the Chief Social Worker. 

“It will address all the concerns raised by Judge Clarkson. 

“The Family Court has also referred the case to the Office of the Children’s Commissioner and we’ll co-operate fully with the Commissioner’s review. 

“I want to reassure the public that CYF has extremely clear guidelines in place for social workers - around responding to reports of concern and supporting vulnerable children. 

“This case is not indicative of the way CYF works with vulnerable children. 

“In the vast majority of cases our social workers get it right, but on this occasion we clearly haven’t and we’ve let these children down. 

“Our front line staff work with some of the country’s most complex, challenging and violent families and this case is a clear example of that. 

“I believe we could have and should have done more, but these parents also have a lot to answer for. 

“All children deserve the right to live in a loving, caring environment free from violence – especially from the two people they should be able to trust the most. 

“I expect the findings of the Chief Social Worker’s review to be complete in the New Year. I am committed to an open and transparent process and details of the review will be made public” says Ms Mackenzie.

The Waimakariri River
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