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What are unqualified and inexperienced people doing in a job that requires qualifications and experience?

Posted by watchingcyfswatchnewzealand on April 17, 2007

As posted on CYFSWATCH NZ

What are unqualified and inexperienced people doing in a job that requires qualifications and experience?
Thursday, 08.03.2007, 08:11pm (GMT12)

There have been media comments made about the ability to complain to the social workers registration board if a social worker is not doing his or her job properly, however the prohibitive factor in this is not only that investigations are in house, but also that only about 5 percent of all CYF social workers are registered, and the board will only investigate complaints about those who are registered.

(For a list of all registered social workers go to

This leads me to the point: no wonder we have so many problems with children being kidnapped by the state when most of the social workers involved do not even carry the qualifications required for registration. How can an informed decision for a childs life be made when the caseworker in question does not even hold the qualifications for his or her job?

It is absolutely imperative for the sake of our children that we have qualified people making decisions about their well being.

Part of the study for a social work degree looks at the importance for the child in maintaining the family unit and looks at ways to supportively intervene, rather than negatively intervene. Those who have not had the benefit of this study have often got no idea of what their job as social workers should actually entail.

In many cases even office managers within the departent are not registered social workers.

I met with Peter Hughes and Doug Craig from the Ministry in August 06, and discussed with them both the need for an independant board to investigate complaints about social workers. They both agreed this was an absolute necessity. I found both Mr Hughes and Mr Craig to be fair and reasonable people, who are somewhat bound by the legislation that governs them.

I would encourage as many people as possible to write to Mr Hughes, and also to Ruth Dyson and as many politicians as possible (Contact details can be found at, stating the urgent need for an Independant Complaints Authority for CYF to be established.

Outline the facts of your case with your letter. I also believe it is imperative to have some parents on such a board who have experience CYF firsthand as only those who have been at the mercy of this Ministry can truly understand what another has experienced.

I specifically wish for my name to be published in my submission to CYFSWATCH, along with my email address as I am currently compiling files of different cases of negative intervention and am interested in receiving more. I intend to use these files as examples of why the CYF system needs to change, and highlight the deficiencies in the Cyf act.

It is for example unacceptable that the threshold for the burden of proof in the family court is so low that hearsay and general feelings of a social worker, whether or not they are reasonably held, are taken as fact.

For those who wish to share their case with me please answer the following questions:

What led up to intervention by CYF?
What happened when they intervened?
When did this happen? i.e. day, month, year?
Have the parents feel they have been listened to and treated fairly by the caseworker?
At any stage were you told by the social worker what your rights were?
Has the caseworker been accurate and truthful in their presentation of the “facts”?
Has counsel for child treated the parents fairly?
Has the Judge given more credence to the social workers than to the parents?
Where are the children now?
If they are not in your care, how often do you have access and what problems if any have occurred?
If they are not in your care, are you happy with their placement?
If they are not back at home, has there been any indication of when this might occur?
Have the social workers provided you with a list of requirements to fulfill in order for your child/ren to be returned home to you?
Have your whanau been supportive or destructive in this process?
What course of action have you taken to try and have your children/ren returned to you?
Was there a more positive approach that could have been taken in your case by CYF, if so, what?
Is your social worker registered? (

If you do fill out this form and email it to me, please keep to the facts. Whilst I realise feelings run high when your children have been kidnapped by the state (as my own son was) and that you do feel powerless, I do not feel the use of foul language or the making of derogatory comments (even though largely truthful) is productive.

I would also like to encourage people who are struggling to deal with CYF to join up with PANIC ( parents against negative intevention of CYF)

I can be contacted at


One Response to “What are unqualified and inexperienced people doing in a job that requires qualifications and experience?”

  1. Jay said

    Cyfs is now looking at doing inside house
    qualifications. More on this in a comment in GRAEME AXFORDS PAGE>
    Can go there via R/H side on watching
    cyfs> homepage. Under, its official cyfs are officially dumb!

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