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CYFS a law unto themselves.

Posted by watchingcyfswatchnewzealand on March 14, 2007

As posted on CYFSWATCH NZ

CYFS a law unto themselves.
Monday, 12.03.2007, 09:50pm (GMT12)



Thanks for the opportunity to tell my story.


Like many people that have been burnt by CYFS social workers, ot only are we dealing with the departments, we are also dealing with the caregivers who are not related to our children and who refuse to except the fact that the children have family.


Lower Hutt department CYFS social workers are biased, the caregivers are holding on to something that rightfully doesn’t belong to them which are our children.


We have been excluded from any decision making regarding our children.


We did not have a reconvening of an FGC regarding our 2 children, and decisions were made by social workers and  caregivers to have the children placed with their present caregivers on an allegation that was unfounded.


Access is a laugh. Caregivers have to travel with the children, and the line that they always use to keep family away is that doing so is in the best interest of the child, and we have never received a  court order stating family had to be supervised.


In fact we don’t receive proper contact or info at all.


The social workers of the department breach their code of conduct. They judge families, discriminate against families, and damage the dignity and worth of families.


All these professionals who put in place these acts, policies and guidelines need to seriously look into the behaviours of the social workers.


There are genuine social workers out there who stick to the code and by the book.


Social workers, caregivers, whanau caregivers and other organisations all have a role regarding children.


We are governed by CYFS policies & guidelines, Acts etc….not by the social workers alone .


2 Responses to “CYFS a law unto themselves.”

  1. Jay said

    Cyfs do not care about familys.
    They change the rules to suit themselves.
    Heck: a S/worker came here from Pomville.
    !8 yrs experience there working for their version of cyfs, Master in Social Work.
    Worked here for cyfs, shocked by what he found, so spoke out.
    This person who has no axe to grind, totally independent, says cyfs has big problems. An expert Witness!
    What does one of the 3 jerk-offs that take turns to play at Dep.cyfs CEO, say about this on Tues 13/3 ‘Closeup programme.’
    Justification and a pack of lies, closed mind-set!
    Bring on a Royal Commission!

  2. Bonnie Schlef said

    It appears not only are Lower hutt CYFS social workers biased but this type of attitude, or culture seems prevalent on a national basis. Agreed, naturally there are well meaning CYFS employee’s, however, one can presume if any “whistle blowing” or complaint by a social worker occurred, they would be promptly shut up to protect the State machine.

    Ministers and government apply the utmost effort to keep many matters away from the public eye. The past has proved the NZ government will not take responsibility for State employee’s conduct, or State departments shortfalls. Reform is long overdue. Accountability and responsible action is long overdue. Easier for the State to hang out to dry individual’s employed by the State as individually responsible for any misconducts be they criminal or civil. Vicarious liability seems to have been virtually obliterated by Judicial decisions in NZ Higher Courts. The Judiciary should never be influenced by the Executive branch of government, but Judicial decisions the past few years indicates otherwise.

    The governments strategic practice of making individual State employee’s accountable rather than any Minister or the government itself, again reflects a State strategy avoiding vicarious liability. Vicarious liability is basically an employer’s onus of responsible accountability and potential liability for he conduct, acts and omissions of employee’s. Seems to be applied in law everywhere else in the world. This strategy is not dissimilar to government encouraging aggrieved individual’s to complain to NZ Police, for example, historic sexual abuse / assault claims that occurred in State institutions. Regardless of political views, Judicial decisions, and an almost esoteric will of key politicians and Ministers, the STATE employ people…the State and various Ministerial departments are and remain accountable for actions of employee’s. All the “internal” departmental policies will not change this fact.

    In July 2003 the NZ Court of Appeal handed down a judgement regarding the abuse by foster parents of foster children… ( S v Attorney General and W v Attorney General )…two separate civil claims. Basically, the NZ Court of Appeal saw fit to deem the State not responsible for the acts of foster parents as foster parents were not technically paid employee’s for wages of the State but were rather, contracted as independent agents provided allowances for foster children…Such an assertion is ludicrous to say the least, but served the State well in an effort to set a legal precedent for any future attempts by Plaintiff’s filing a civil tort prosecution. That Appeal Court decision irrefutably has been followed and applied in other cases. That Appeal Court decision assured the State would not be held vicariously liable in that particular case for the acts of State servants. Those Appeal Court Judges were and remain not only questionable in delivering a contentious judgement, but in my view that is not isolated, complicit in enabling the State to evade accountable liability…protect the fiscal purse at any cost…prevent future civil prosecutions or make them difficult to say the least keeping a potential floodgate reaction slammed shut. Rough justice NZ judiciary style!!! Good old Kiwi “can do” attitude at its best!

    Another anomaly, given recent attempts by CYFS to state for an individual to complain about services or conduct of CYFS employee’s, the employee must be a registered social worker…as in the so called “code of conduct” for social workers. International statndards must also be applied..the code complies with such standards..but as in many areas, the NZ governments acceptable “standard” seems far lower than other OECD and developed nations.

    There is also a “code of conduct” for State Services…or civil servants. Regardless of any position or title, ALL State employee’s are civil servants, therefore, registered social workers or not, those employee’s are privy to comply with the State Services code. Cheap lip service and a waste of time and paper in my view…lip service to satisfy on the face of matters international standards and requirements.

    One can download these codes from the State services Commission web site and become informed to the standards one should expect and receive from State departments. I wonder how the State will fare should Sue Bradford’s repeal of s59 be enacted…given the State have proved numerous times they will not accept or acknowledge responsibility in many areas, this repeal will not in any way encourage reform needed in State sponsored out of home care…but again, result in individual Police prosecutions for any offences and misconducts. Big Brother doesn’t REALLY want to know.

    Sue Bradford and the NZ green Party may also be well advised to disclose to the NZ public the repeal of s59 in relation to the “anti smacking” amendment sought, this directive for action by Sue bradford espoused as her brainchild is not entirely her brainchild. As far back as 1997 the then Commissioner for Children in NZ submitted to the United Nations ( UN ) Geneva office the idea to repeal s59 in regard to the International Convention for the Rights of the Child. One can go on to the UN Geneva wbsite, search “issues New Zealand” and inform oneself. Our politicians certainly will not.

    The Un have been pushing for the repeal of s59…a report was due back to the UN from NZ government the end 2005. As stated by the UN, giveb the NZ government have been “behind” in reporting to the UN, this time frame was extended to 5 November 2008. Helen Clark stated to the media last week following the latest UN report regarding the dismal state of matters concerning children in NZ, that the UNICEF report was compiled by old data. Again, the UN have been urging NZ to come up to speed and been asking the NZ government to provide “disaggregate” data regarding various statisitcs confined not only to matters of children. Is it our political machinations simply lack the ability and nous to compile such, or are simply yet again stonewalling to prevent real figures and data being provided!?!?

    Bit like strategically drafted legislation..ChiYoung Persons and Their Families Act 1985 provides therein exclusion from liability of the State for any tortious acts ( a tort, or tortious act is a civil wrong ) done by employee’s or agents of the State with regard to CYFS. However, one IS ABLE to sue a civil prosecution if one is able to establish “bad faith”. I would say the fact with particular regard to CYFS employee’s, that internally within State departments, whistleblowers are frowned upon, and the lies inevitably follow in attempts to bury and cover up events that should never occur. Due diligence and due process seem to be provided little regard.

    One also needs to find a lawyer with sufficient skill to operate on this level of prosecution, and the gumption to take on the State in the face of seemingly corrupt Judicial practices and decisions seeking no less than exemplary ( or punitive ) damages. Think Rob Moodie and the Berryman bridge case…such is what happens to legal counsel if they attack the State when due for attack and attempt to expose corrupt complicity among the higher offices of various State departments.

    CYFS also have an internal “policy” where all original notes from Family Group Conferences ( FGC ) are routinely and automatically destroyed. Hence, if the departments “formal’ typed version of any negotiated and agreed FGC plan variates or deviates from what was ACTUALLY agreed, there remains no originating source of documentation or factual record to refer back to if one needs to challenge such…because CYFS simply destroy originating notes from FGC agreements!!! Ludicrous! Nowhere in the Act is authority provided for CYFS to destroy what is and remains official information.

    To complain or challenge CYFS is commensurate to having a tooth pulled. The stonewalling by this department is astounding. It is alarming. Being ignored is equally alarming. CYFS authored unilateral versions seem to be the established norm. Paper trails are the key. Recording events are they key. Tolerance is also a major factor amongst all the nonsensical idiocy and arrogant highhandedness displayed by many CYFS employee’s, higher management all the way to various legal counsel for CYFS. These people are well versed in protecting the State, each other and keeping matters under the radar avoiding at all costs public exposure.

    People, ensure you have your own notes…ensure you exercise your right for support persons or advocates to attend any FGC, meeting, interviews, establish records, write, write, write to confirm meetings…FAX these to ensure delivery…record phone calls, take names…familiarise yourselves with the Children Young Persons and Their Families Act…the Act should be, in the words from the Office of the Ombudsmen, the CYFS “bible”. Hence due process and due diligence being is accuracy..

    Complaint to Ministers, though they are heads of departments, is useless…complain and receive the standard the “minister cannot get involved”…”the matter is being investigated”…by who? keystone cops!?!?…and a well established practice of stonewalling knowing full well the majority of complainant’s simply give up. Most are already emotionally and psychologically stretched to breaking point anyway…uninformed. Ruth Dyson, though only Associate minister is well practiced in stonewalling people when answers are sought and complaint made. This claim can be evidentially substantiated with various cases and correspondence between Dyson and parties concerned…one in particular acting as an advocate on behalf of many…Dyson simply doesn’t want to know and has displayed she is also not beyond terse responses and common lies when infuriated. If one persists a legitimate grievance seeking reform or the beginning of reform, all one is confronted with is belligerent political denial of wrongdoing, ignorant lack of regard for their position in public office that in no way dignifies the rank of authority, responsibility and power vested in these political puppets and their higher ranked puppeteer masters.

    Welcome to the politics of New Zealand…esoteric governing at its best…all about the abuse of power and authority in public office…seems the rule of law is interpreted in a league of its own in NZ. Be diligent in your quest for just treatment and the rights of all individual’s concerned. Most of all, become aware and informed…get the Act…get the codes…become empowered. CYFS is a national concern and is the problem of the people for it is ultimately the people who fail to act that further enable corrupt complicity to thrive.

    Reform will not occur without effort…but again, we have governing powers for well over a decade that simply ignore mass demonstrations, deny the democratic right and practice of referendum claiming such “costs” too much in money and resources…and resist real Royal Commissions of Inquiries…bit like blaming the UN and UNICEF report for “outdated” information and ignoring the UN’s requests for almost a decade for disaggregate up to date statistics to enable the UN, the World and most importantly the people of NZ to be informed accurately.

    A friend phoned me from Singapore several years ago asking “how can your government make laws like you have…what’s more concern, what is wrong with the people in your country letting things happen…”! We are a complacent bunch who do not really care about what happens in others lives until our own back doorstep ie affected. We all say things are not too bad here in NZ…rather, we should be saying things could be a lot better and stop being apathetic…we have corrupt complicity alive and well controlled by a few small fish in a very well controlled smaller pond. Fight and go public…that is survivor mode…expose evidentially and hope that just one sole politician will be brave enough to demand reform and implement the beginning of such. CYFS are not alone in their shame among State departments in this country.

    Get the Act, go to the Ombudsmen, try your local MP, contact the media, write to the Governor General but be well armed, have your paper trail, witnesses and most of all endurance, faith and knowledge just causes have just results if played right.

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