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Close Up: Brit social worker slams CYF (and Close Up Video)

Posted by watchingcyfswatchnewzealand on March 14, 2007

Source:  

TVNZ Video: http://tvnz.co.nz/view/video_popup_windows_skin/1021724

As posted on CYFSWATCH NZ

Close Up: Brit social worker slams CYF (and Close Up Video)
Tuesday, 13.03.2007, 10:16pm (GMT12)

Brit social worker slams CYF:

Mar 13, 2007

A British social worker who spent six months with Child Youth and Family has spoken out against the department, claiming its processes are unethical.

Jonny Ward worked for CYF in South Auckland but left his job in protest, saying families were broken apart unnecessarily.

“What I wasn’t happy with was lack of involvement with parents, parents not being informed when being questioned at school, children being removed without parents being aware that was going to happen. Just a lack of involvment with parents,” says Ward.

In one case the parents of a baby taken by Child Youth and Family had to fight for 10 months to get him back.

Billy and Michelle Carter had their second child taken away “out of the blue” by CYF when he was just one month old. Their first child had died and baby Joshua had similar health issues, putting his parents under suspicion. A doctor had made a report to police and to CYF suggesting Michelle was to blame.

“We always said to them ‘we accept your taking Joshua and we accept the reasons’, but they didn’t have to treat me like a criminal from the start. And how they continued to have custody of Joshua even though evidence was coming in to support us all the time. They kept moving the goal post,” says Michelle.

A second doctor’s report said Michelle was not to blame. CYF then claimed she was mentally unstable but this was ruled out by a psychological assessment.

Finally, after 10 months, a judge said Joshua could return home.

“Parents are gonna be too scared to take their children to the doctor ’cause CYFs act so quickly on any complain,” says Michelle.

It’s because of cases like this, that Ward feels he has to speak out.

But CYF spokesperson Ray Smith has denied ward’s claim that CYF is unethical.

“His experience in New Zealand and his issues do not reflect social working practice in this country. Social workers act with great care and compassion. The last thing that a social worker in this country wants to do is to have to remove a child from a family. But when we have grave concerns about the safety of children it’s a job we sometimes have to do,” Smith says.

Child Youth and Family’s chief executive has met with Ward to talk through his concerns.


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