Watching CYFSWATCH NZ

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Petition/Inquiry/Protest

Posted by watchingcyfswatchnewzealand on February 14, 2007

Tuesday, 23 January 2007

CYFSWATCH Site Prompts call for an Independent CYFS Complaints Authority

http://www.nzherald.co.nz/section/1/story.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=10420459

Anti-CYF website prompts call for complaints authority
10:20AM Tuesday January 23, 2007

The publication of an anonymous blog website which is critical of Child Youth and Family (CYF) workers shows an independent CYF complaints authority is needed, a lobby group has said.

The site says it will publish details of staff – including home addresses – as well as uncensored stories which will ‘name and shame’ CYF workers.

The national director of Family First, Bob McCoskrie said the lobby group received many complaints from families dealing with CYF.

“Family First is being regularly contacted by families who claim to have been unfairly treated by CYF social workers,” he said, “yet these parents whose families have been torn apart have no independent body to appeal to.”

Mr McCroskie said the Government should look at forming a complaints authority urgently.

On Monday, CFY said social workers worked hard for children in a tough and stressful environment but that it could not promise to always get it right.

So far only one staff member has been named on the site.

– NZPA

Tuesday, 23 January 2007

Family First Press Release 23/1/07

MEDIA RELEASE
23 January 2007
Anti-CYF Blogsite Due to Lack of Accountability
Family First calls for a CYF Complaint Authority

A new blogsite which offers parents a means to vent their frustrations at Child Youth and Family is simply an outcome of a lack of transparency and accountability over the activities of CYF.
“There is no avenue for people who feel they have been unfairly treated by the Child, Youth and Family,” says Bob McCoskrie, National Director of Family First.
“Family First is being regularly contacted by families who claim to have been unfairly treated by CYF Social Workers – yet these parents who’s families have been torn apart have no independent body to appeal to. Their only option is a costly court process where CYFS have an unlimited pool of resources to defend its actions, courtesy of the taxpayer.”
“This is grossly unfair when families are being ripped apart, often just based on the subjective judgment of a social worker,” says Mr McCoskrie.
CYF themselves admit that they do not always get it right. There is also evidence that CYFS are not following their own procedures, and are not acting where they should.
Bob McCoskrie has a background of social work in South Auckland for 15 years and knows too well how difficult it is to get CYF to intervene on the really urgent cases. Yet there is no real avenue for appeal in these cases either.
“There is a Health and Disability Commissioner, a Police Complaints Authority, even a Motor Vehicle Disputes Tribunal,” says Mr McCoskrie. “We desperately need an independent body to hear complaints about the highly sensitive nature of intervening in families.”
Family First calls on all MP’s, the majority who will have received anecdotal evidence of claims of unfair treatment by CYF, to support the urgent establishment of a CYF Complaint Authority.

ENDS

For more information contact Family First:

Bob McCoskrie JP – NATIONAL DIRECTOR
Tel. 09 261 2426 | Mob. 027 55 555 42
email. bob@familyfirst.org.nz | www.familyfirst.org.nz

P.O. Box 276-133, Manukau City, Auckland, New Zealand

Family First NZ (Inc) was formed in April 2006 to speak up in the public domain on family issues. It has a Board of Trustees, a Board of Reference including Ex-All Black Michael Jones, TV personalities Jim Hickey and Anthony Samuels, over 200 financial supporters and over 2,000 e-mail supporters.

Wednesday, 31 January 2007

A CYFS petitition has just been started – details here.

If you would like to be involved in organising a petition please contact:

cyfpetition@gmail.com

It is envisaged that the petition will ask for a CYF Complaints Authority.

Thursday, 1 February 2007

Law Commission investigates the role of Commissions of Inquiry

Suggest that you alert your readers to the following item. Everyone needs to have a look at it. It may provide an opportunity for your disaffected to have some input.

http://www.lawcom.govt.nz/ProjectGeneral.aspx

Public Inquiries
Status: Work in Progress

Law Commission investigates the role of commissions of inquiry
Published 26 Jan 2007

The Law Commission has released an issues paper that asks questions about the purpose of public inquiries. The paper focuses on three of the forms of public inquiry: commissions of inquiry, royal commissions and non-statutory ministerial inquiries.

Public Law
The Commission will review and update the law relating to public inquiries in New Zealand. This review will include inquiries established as Royal Commissions and other commissions established under the Commissions of Inquiry Act 1908, Ministerial inquiries, ad hoc inquiries under specific statutes, and departmental inquiries.

This document explains:
http://www.lawcom.govt.nz/UploadFiles/Publications/Publication_127_350_MP14.pdf
Should you have problem with wraparound of this 79 character URL, try this Tiny URL:

http://tinyurl.com/2cj474

Saturday, 3 February 2007

How Parliament deals with complaints about CYFS.

CYF doesn’t know how many complaints have been made.

CYF doesn’t know how many complaints have been upheld.

CYF doesn’t know how many complaints have been made by falsely accused parents or caregivers.

CYF doesn’t know how many complaints have been made as a result of malicious or vexatious notifications.

CYF doesn’t know how many complaints have been made by parents who are involved in custody or divorce proceedings.

CYF doesn’t know how many complaints have been made about registered social workers.

CYF doesn’t know how many complaints have been made about unqualified social workers.

CYF doesn’t know how many social workers have been disciplined as a result of complaints made about them.

CYF doesn’t know how many complaints have been made about managers.

CYF doesn’t know how many complaints have been misplaced/lost.

CYF doesn’t know how many complaints are waiting to be investigated.

CYF doesn’t know why they don’t have national statistics on complaints.

Don’t they use Key Performance Indicators for their managers?

Shouldn’t the KPI’s include accurate information about client satisfaction?

Aren’t complaints procedures an important method of discovering gaps in service shortfalls?

Aren’t complaints about staff linked to Human Resource records?

All of the above queries could be easily answered after a week’s work by a competent SQL analyst/programmer.

Could the minister be prevaricating?

5 months ago in Parliament . . .

Questions And Answers – Thursday, 24 August 2006

Thursday, 24 August 2006, 6:03 pm

Press Release: Office of the Clerk

Child, Youth and Family—Complaints

3. JUDY TURNER (Deputy Leader—United Future):
to the Associate Minister for Social Development and Employment (CYF): Does Child, Youth and Family record the number of complaints received from those who feel unfairly treated by the actions, procedures, or decisions of the department; if so, how many complaints have been received in the last 5 years?

Hon RUTH DYSON (Associate Minister for Social Development and Employment (CYF)): I am advised that all complaints that the department receives are thoroughly investigated, but currently there is no central database that captures all complaints made to Child, Youth and Family staff.

Judy Turner: Does she agree that Child, Youth and Family should be accountable to an organisation outside itself, given its statutory powers; if so, will she support the call of United Future to establish an independent complaints authority for Child, Youth and Family?

Hon RUTH DYSON: I certainly agree that the actions of Child, Youth and Family staff, like all other public servants, should be accountable. In terms of the latter part of the member’s question, I am certainly prepared to review existing pathways for complaints to be made—for example, the Social Workers Registration Board, the Office of the Ombudsmen, the Privacy Commissioner, the Human Rights Commission, and any others—and will discuss the outcomes of those considerations with the member.

Georgina Beyer: What is Child, Youth and Family doing to strengthen its complaints procedures?

Hon RUTH DYSON: I am pleased to advise that work is under way to develop a new national database that will ensure that complaints can be collated centrally. The database is just one of the benefits we are seeing as a result of the merger between Child, Youth and Family Services and the Ministry of Social Development.

Judy Turner: Is the Minister aware that the Police Complaints Authority—for which the Child, Youth and Family’s equivalent could be considered comparable—costs approximately $2.1 million per year, yet its effect on public confidence and accountability is considered priceless; and, if so, is not a Child, Youth and Family complaints authority a very small cost for a very significant and necessary benefit for parents and families?

Hon RUTH DYSON: Yes, I am familiar with those figures and I will certainly take that information into consideration when undertaking the existing complaints pathways review.

END OF QUESTIONS ABOUT CYFS COMPLAINTS

1 comments:

Anonymous said…
The police complaints authority is a complete and utter waste of time. The vast majority of complaints made to it are referred back to the Police ‘professional conduct division’. The police oficers who fill this division will.
1. Try to convince you to agree that you complaint was groundless. the formal name for this is concilation, and in the official report it gives the impression that some form of redress or apology or conciliation has been offered. This is far from the truth, what in fact happens is that police use sophisticated interrogation and manipulation techniques to destroy your confidence in your complaint and to get you to drop it.
2. If you refuse to be ‘conciliated’ you will be subjected to character assination and ad hominem attack – your motives will be questioned – and the complaint will be denied. Any lie put forward by the offending officer will be accepted out of hand and your evidence counts for nothing.
3. You have the right to protest this Police investigation of themselves — and the PCA response will be to refer your response back to the police, and they will get to concoct another series of denials of it all.
4. This carries on until you get sick of it.
5. Even if the PCA does come down on your side the Police can give it 2 fingers as it has no authority over them at all.

These are the stats for complaints from last year taken from the PCA yearly report.

A. Total complaints – 2829
B Accepted for jurisdiction – 2481
C. Not pursued – 164
D. Sustained or partially sustained 96
E. Conciliated or not sustained 563.

The balance are still ongoing.

So in a year, Police accept they were out of line in a whopping 3.8% of cases. There sure are a heck of a lot of people out there making false complaints aren’t there.

How lucky we are to have a police force that can be trusted to investigate themselves eh?

5 February 2007 14:34  

Monday, 5 February 2007

Why an internal Complaints Authority will not work for CYFS.

The Police Complaints authority is a complete and utter waste of time. The vast majority of complaints made to it are referred back to the Police ‘professional conduct division’.

The police officers who fill this division will:

1. Try to convince you to agree that you complaint was groundless. the formal name for this is conciliation, and in the official report it gives the impression that some form of redress or apology or conciliation has been offered. This is far from the truth, what in fact happens is that police use sophisticated interrogation and manipulation techniques to destroy your confidence in your complaint and to get you to drop it.

2. If you refuse to be ‘conciliated’ you will be subjected to character assassination and ad hominem attack – your motives will be questioned – and the complaint will be denied. Any lie put forward by the offending officer will be accepted out of hand and your evidence counts for nothing.

3. You have the right to protest this Police investigation of themselves — and the PCA response will be to refer your response back to the police, and they will get to concoct another series of denials of it all.

4. This carries on until you get sick of it. 5. Even if the PCA does come down on your side the Police can give it 2 fingers as it has no authority over them at all.

These are the stats for complaints from last year taken from the PCA yearly report:

A. Total complaints – 2829

B. Accepted for jurisdiction – 2481

C. Not pursued – 164

D. Sustained or partially sustained – 96

E. Conciliated or not sustained – 563.

The balance are still ongoing.

So in a year, Police accept they were out of line in a whopping 3.8% of cases.

There sure are a heck of a lot of people out there making false complaints aren’t there?

How lucky we are to have a police force that can be trusted to investigate themselves eh?

Now, apply the same process to CYFS complaints………………..

Tuesday, 6 February 2007

United Future New Zealand appeals (again) to the Labour Government.

Turner: Anti-CYF Blog and CYF resignations

Tuesday, 6 February 2007, 12:51 pm
Press Release: United Future NZ Party

Monday, 5 February 2007

Turner: Anti-CYF Blog and CYF resignations are just a symptom of the system

United Future deputy leader Judy Turner is calling for the Government to treat the cause not just the symptom of widespread unhappiness with CYF, following Google’s decision to censor an anti-CYF blogsite and the resignation in protest of two CYF social workers.

“The problem is that CYF have the power to uproot children from their parents which naturally brings the potential to destroy families – yet they are only accountable to themselves,” says Mrs Turner.

The resignations of two British-recruited social workers has sparked further scrutiny of the department, amidst claims that children are being removed from their parents with unnecessary abruptness and with little thought to where they could be placed.

Mrs Turner has repeatedly called for an independent complaints authority to be set up, yet the Government remains uncommitted.

“Parents who wish to challenge the conduct or decisions of CYF workers still have to complain about CYF, to CYF, which is unacceptable.

“The Government was so quick to act in approaching Google to stop the Blog continuing, but so slow to remedy the real problem here.

“The Blog was created out of desperation, by New Zealanders who have nowhere else to go to voice their objections and concerns about their treatment by CYF.

“The Minister for CYF needs to immediately inform the country whether a complaints authority will be established; and if not, explain why affected families and CYF are condemned to continue having their disputes aired in public because CYF is effectively unaccountable,” says Mrs Turner.

Tuesday, 6 February 2007

Family Integrity Organisation speaks out.

This is a great site. Such a forum for free speech is urgently needed. May it continue unimpeded.

Since we here at Family Integrity began opposing Bradford’s Bill to repeal parental authority by repealing Section 59, we have been contacted by a number of people who have been terrorised by CYFS social workers.

They are all scared to death of going public for they may never get their children back if they do. Many are already bankrupt from fighting CYFS in the courts. Such stories led me to read the CYPF Act and the Care of Children Act.

I found CYFS does have its own nearly-unfettered powers to enter and remove children “by force if necessary” merely on a single social worker’s suspicion that the child “is likely to suffer ill-treatment”.

That is, CYFS agents work on the assumption that parents are “guilty until proven innocent”, a horrible belief our ancestors fought long and hard to overturn, but it has now been re-instated by CYFS.

I spent two weeks in close contact with Swedish lawyer Ruby Harrold-Claesson. She sees many parallels in NZ with how things developed in Sweden, where now child and family intervention by a wide array of state-funded agents is big business.

Each of these agencies has a vested interest in fostering dysfunction as the dysfunction keeps them at the receiving end of the state’s only known response: to throw more money at the “professionals” who are supposed to fix the problem.

We need a complaints authority to investigate CYFS ASAP.

Friday, 9 February 2007

Someone get us a Tui Beer Billboard.


Why not send Cindy an email at:

children@occ.org.nz

and advise her just how ineffective her “Office of the Children’s Commissioner” is. In fact, why not ask her to provide evidence of just ONE case where her office intervened on behalf of a family that was assaulted by CYFS, that resulted in a positive outcome for the family – good luck on that one.

CYF watchdog bites back against criticism:

8/2/07:

The office of the Children’s Commissioner already acts as an independent watchdog on Child Youth and Family, Children’s Commissioner Cindy Kiro says.

Earlier this week United Future deputy leader Judy Turner called for an independent body to be set up to investigate complaints against the department.

Her call followed the resignations of two British-recruited social workers who have lashed the CYF’s standards.

But Ms Kiro said today her office was already an independent complaints body for the department.

“As Children’s Commissioner, I am an Independent Crown Entity with powers to investigate any decision or recommendation made by CYF and monitor and assess the policies and practices of the Department,” she said.

“My office routinely deals with public enquiries and complaints about Child, Youth and Family, canvassing a whole range of issues such as social work practice, removal and the placement of children.”

She also had a role helping agencies dealing with children to establish their own complaints procedures as well as monitoring the nature and level of complaints.

Several issues were currently being discussed in relation to this with the CYF management and CYF minister Ruth Dyson.

Ms Turner said she supported the role of the Children’s Commissioner, but the office only had a limited capability to investigate CYF.

The public would be better served by an independent authority, an idea she had discussed with Ms Kiro.

“We agreed that the role of the commissioner is limited to issues pertaining to children.

“Any complaint from parents regarding their maltreatment or perceived abuse or other failure of CYF is completely beyond the mandate of the Children’s Commissioner to investigate.”

If a person notified CYF about their fears about the children of a neighbour and they were ignored there was no independent body for them to complain to, she said.

Friday, 9 February 2007

Hey Cindy: check out the last paragraph – YOU HAVE NO MANDATE.

CYF watchdog bites back against criticism:

8/2/07:

The office of the Children’s Commissioner already acts as an independent watchdog on Child Youth and Family, Children’s Commissioner Cindy Kiro says.

Earlier this week United Future deputy leader Judy Turner called for an independent body to be set up to investigate complaints against the department.

Her call followed the resignations of two British-recruited social workers who have lashed the CYF’s standards.

But Ms Kiro said today her office was already an independent complaints body for the department.

“As Children’s Commissioner, I am an Independent Crown Entity with powers to investigate any decision or recommendation made by CYF and monitor and assess the policies and practices of the Department,” she said.

“My office routinely deals with public enquiries and complaints about Child, Youth and Family, canvassing a whole range of issues such as social work practice, removal and the placement of children.”

She also had a role helping agencies dealing with children to establish their own complaints procedures as well as monitoring the nature and level of complaints.

Several issues were currently being discussed in relation to this with the CYF management and CYF minister Ruth Dyson.

Ms Turner said she supported the role of the Children’s Commissioner, but the office only had a limited capability to investigate CYF.

The public would be better served by an independent authority, an idea she had discussed with Ms Kiro.

“We agreed that the role of the commissioner is limited to issues pertaining to children.

“Any complaint from parents regarding their maltreatment or perceived abuse or other failure of CYF is completely beyond the mandate of the Children’s Commissioner to investigate.”

If a person notified CYF about their fears about the children of a neighbour and they were ignored there was no independent body for them to complain to, she said.

Friday, 9 February 2007

Children’s Commissioner Cindy Kiro talks “utter garbage”.

Children’s Commissioner Cindy Kiro talks “utter garbage”.

Ummm, lets get this right, the CC’s office acts for children, not the parents.

I cannot for the life of me imagine how a new born baby can either phone or write a letter to the CC demanding to remain with its mother.

Of course parents who want the BEST for their children WILL contact the CC’s office on their child’s behalf.

This story proves that the CC’s ofice is just another waste of tax payers money.

I have heard stories from MANY parents that when they phone the CC’s office to complain about CYFS, they are told “can’t, because its still before the Family Court” or “cant, its still under CYFS jurisdiction” or “can’t, too much time has elapsed”

So this story from the CC that she IS a viable independent CYFS watchdog is utter garbage.

kiwi1960

Sunday, 11 February 2007

Petition for Royal Commision of Enquiry into CYFS.

Petition Urgently Needed:

I have had several people say to me recently that, since this Blog started, they would be interested in signing a petition. One has even offered to hand one around her work and clients. I believe that a petition for an Independent Commission of Enquiry into the behavior and practices of CYFS is well overdue.

We have gained the public awareness we so desperately needed with this site, so now is the time to get this petition up and running.

Unfortunately we, (Louise & I) don’t have the resources to do this. I am working full time and Louise has her hands full raising our 3 children. However, I am sure there are people out there who are able to organize and manage what will be a critical job in our collective fight for justice and change. I am asking for these people to step forward now.

We are willing to provide any support that I we are able to as we realize this could be a daunting task. If there is anyone out there with the knowledge of how to start a petition, what resources are needed, how it can be managed nationally and are able to step into the breach, please reply to this post.

Maybe our hosts CYFSWATCH can help with ideas and/or support?

I know the idea of a petition has been raised before, but what we need NOW is to get one started. We have the opportunity to put our foot, figuratively speaking, on the throat of CYFS and the Government. Helen Clarke is hoping that this is a storm in a tea cup and will go away. Lets not give her the satisfaction of being right!

Let’s force her and her underlings to sit up, listen and act as per the will of the people. Let’s remind the powers to be that they are in a position of “privilege” and not a position of “right” and they serve us and not their own self interests and political survival. It is time to remind the Government who they work for and the consequences of their failure in their duty as “PUBLIC SERVANTS”

If you can help, PLEASE HELP!

Remember this is for the survival & safety of our children and the sanctity of our families. Let’s get started NOW!

Regards

Craig Martin

Ph: (09)8133647

clmartin@xtra.co.nz

Sunday, 11 February 2007

Another call for a CYFS Independent Complaints Authority.

First of all, Congratulations on your site!

As far as I am concerned the Govt would not have to spend taxpayers money on lawyers working 24 hours a day to get your site closed down if they did have an Independent Cyf Complaints Authority.

It would need to be one that can listen to the complainant and discuss issues. It should have the power to take action with or against a social worker or help them if needed.

I believe there needs to be a independent body to look at the attitudes of hopefully a small minority of Cyf staff, some which would of been identify on your site.

I have witness an action by a head of a Cyf office that can only be described as violence and it still puzzles me about what she was hoping to achieve. I am lead to believe her threats are ongoing – threats which can only be described as emotional violence. If she had listened to people, she may be able to help people more.

SC – New Plymouth

Monday, 12 February 2007

More information on CYFS Petition

Follow up About our Call for a Petition, Calling for a Royal Commission of Enquiry:

I wish to advise EVERYONE in New Zealand that our friend Kiwi1960 has been in contact with me and is willing to organize a petition to present to Parliament. This petition will be calling for a public referendum so the voters of New Zealand can answer this question with a YES or NO.

“Do you believe there needs to be a Royal Commission of Enquiry into the dealings of CYFS and the work behaviors of CYFS employed Social Workers?”

The above question is my idea only, not what the final wording would likely be.

Simply put, this petition will be to show the government that we have enough support to force their hand (figuratively speaking), into having to provide this question to the voting public of New Zealand at the next general election. In this way, it would be an official public referendum. The sad reality is that there ARE conditions attached to this sort of action and you ALL need to know of these conditions which are to be found here:

http://www.justice.govt.nz/pubs/other/pamphlets/2001/citizens_referenda.html

We need a minimum number of signatures depending on the number of enrolled voters:

“You have 12 months in which to collect signatures and to deliver the petition to the Clerk. You must have the signatures of at least 10% of all eligible electors. Eligible electors include those on the General and Maori electoral rolls. All the signatures must be on the approved petition forms, otherwise those signatures will not be counted.”

This is what I ask of everyone reading this:

PLEASE inform everyone you know and everyone you meet that this petition is being organized and is in the planning stages. Tell these people to also tell everyone THEY know and everyone they meet the very same thing. We need as many people as possible to be aware of this petitions existence so that when it’s begun, we can collect our 10% of all voters’ signatures in the quickest time possible.

Remember, TELL EVERYONE YOU KNOW THAT THIS PETITION IS COMING!!!

Craig and I (Louise), and Kiwi1960 will keep you informed as to the progress of the petition planning. It WILL take months I’m sad to say, BUT, how long have CYFS been destroying our families?? It’s certainly a lot longer than a few months. So please hold onto the hope that this might be our start towards the change we all know is so desperately needed. And REMEMBER, tell everyone you know!

Regards,

Louise Martin

09) 813-3647

clmartin@xtra.co.nz

Monday, 12 February 2007

Is a Petition the best way to go?

Great site, keep it up.

Out of all the petitions we have seen completed and passed on to Helengrad, how many have changed anything? None. I applaud those who try to change the system for the better but we need to make sure we have the best bang for our buck.

Will the media focus on a petition or a march on a CYFS office. Not that I condone anything illegal but anything that get on TV news and the papers will promote our cause. Signs with the website will make people look and see the horror stories on this blog. Have you seen the ad on TV about the start of Amnesty International.

It started with a few people who put the issue in the public face. That grew to become a huge international movement.

Just a thought.

Tuesday, 13 February 2007

Petition or Protest?

Petition or Protest?

Since NZers are in the unfortunate position of living in a Clayton’s democracy, citizen initiated referenda are non-binding. Therefore, even if everyone in the country signed our petition the pollies can still laugh it off and go their own way.

A class action seemed a bright idea until I saw what Mayor Bob Harvey and his nasty friends in council are doing to that poor woman with the leaky home who, having already sent some $130k onwards, is now being constructively denied her rightful compensation because of her inability to fund a defense to the Council’s decision to appeal. The council’s pockets are deeper than hers will ever be and we are in the same boat with the Ministry of Social Destruction.

YouTube makes public protest a far more effective tactic since it not only bypasses our forelock-tugging media, but also gets world attention.

The suggestion of protest action with placards advertising our plight and this blogsite seems the best course of action to me too. We can also interview CYFS/Family Court/Legal Aid Services victims in an ongoing “outing” process.

Kiwi1960 seems to be the man for the mission, along with whatever support and help we can all give him.

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