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Archive for the ‘Insiders Speak out’ Category

Insiders Speak out

Posted by watchingcyfswatchnewzealand on February 14, 2007

As poted on CYFSWATCH

Tuesday, 23 January 2007

Social Work Degrees – Dummy Graduates?

More investigation needs to be done on social work qualifications.I hold a Social Work Degree but have never practiced as I was not impressed with fellow Social Work graduates and knew I could never work with these people.
I went on to complete another degree and work in a different field.It has long been a joke among other University professionals at Universities all over the country that the academic ability of community and family students is non existent. Most are unable to write an essay or spell and cheating or copying from text books(plagiarism) is rife. Most have personal problems, usually control problems.
While studying community and family studies I often heard students say they had taken social work because they wanted a degree and were not intelligent to study
anything else. These are the people making decisions for entire families and destroying lives.

From, A concerned New Zealander (and Social Work Graduate)

Wednesday, 24 January 2007

Does CYFSWATCH now have an supportive CYFS “insider”?

Lets just say that Timaru CYFS uplift a child from one town far away from Timaru. CYFS move that child all the way back to Timaru. Then, after all the arguing of the point in the world about why they should have to pay for the parents to come down to Timaru to see the children because the parents lived in the other far away city. One social worker signed a sworn affidavit that is presented to the family court with false information in it relating to details about one of the parents. When questioned by a judge, CYFS were not even able to answer his simple questions between the social worker involved and their lawyer. They looked so professional and sure of them selves when they walked in and yet by time the cool judge had finished with them they looked like blithering idiots. I will offer further proof of their incompetency as it comes to hand.



Wednesday, 24 January 2007

A CYFS Social Worker steps up to the debate (The first to do so).

I work for the so called bastards as a social worker and I have had a gutsful of never being able to respond to the bullshit we take from some ignorant members of this society we are all a part of. We don’t just wake up on Monday and decide to take your children. We do it because at the time it is our belief, based on the information we have,that YOUR children are in danger – detrimental environment,physical, sexual, emotional or psychological abuse – because of the actions and/or path YOU as the parent or caregiver have chosen. We are the ones that see the damage caused by YOUR actions as so called parents. We are the ones that take the blame when it is the public who give us the work, which we are required by law to action. I can accept that some of my colleagues are power tripping dickheads for sure but not all of us are assholes. Some of us care hard out and we give everything within our personal and statutory power to improve a child and their families situation. I want to see children safe with their family of origin. I want happy endings but YOU parents need to sort yourselves out instead of attacking us personally. Some of us do a damn good job in tragic environments. I cant even debrief or unload to my friends or family about some of the shit I see because it would give them nightmares and they don’t get paid to hear about the horrors of a CYFS social workers day. I can accept that some of you people have been wronged by the system but you are a minority. At least half of the families I work with are not fit to raise children let alone give birth to them. You don’t hear about the babies born addicted to “P”, the children who miss out on school, food, a ‘normal’ life because their mama is a crack ho who has gone psychotic, the sex offender daddy who likes to get it on with his daughter or her friends, the parents who think its fine for them to beat the crap out of each other in front of their children while the kids hide in fear under the table – after they’ve spent all their money on alcohol or drugs and theres nothing for the kids to eat, the 8 year old girl with an STI, the manuhiri who come to our country and tell us that it is their culture to beat their daughter black and blue, head to toe, because she talked to a boy, the mother who has been beating her baby and wants to kill it because she has post natal depression and feels completely alone, the teenage self harmers who just want to be heard and loved right and whose parents have given up…. I could go on and on and on… The bottom line is we are there because it is about the safety of YOUR children. I do not subscribe to , or agree with, all the views of the organisation I represent and I know we make mistakes and get it wrong at times BUT I do believe in the rights of children and young people to live in an abuse free and safe environment. Work with us, not against us. Some of us work with integrity. If your not happy with the service you receive, fight for it. Get a lawyer. Utilise services that will ensure your rights are respected and do not give up. We love it when parents work harder than us for THEIR children and want to engage in specific programmes to improve or address their particular situation for THEIR children – that says you are putting your children first. I know about being in care and the damage that is caused when social workers stick their oar in and get the situation completely wrong. I saw my mother go through hell dealing with the system as it was in the 80’s and my brother never returned home to us. I have friends and family that have also been put under the CYFS microscope and it isn’t pleasant. We know that. This is why your full honesty is appreciated. Think about why some of us are social workers huh. Does it ever cross your mind that some of us are survivors of our own childhoods and we are there to give back to society, for the future of children and their right to safety? Some of us have been around the mulberry bush a few times ourselves and that makes us better social workers because we have developed insight through those situations…. We are human too and I have lost count of the times I have sat in my car after work too traumatised to go home to my own family, because of the plight of the child I just finished working with, or cried to sleep with worry for their safety. And all you haters might like to know that quite a few of us require anti-anxiety medication to do our job because our nerves are shot from the frontline trauma we face with courageousness and bravery – for the children….Remember that.

Wednesday, 24 January 2007

Degree Qualified Social Worker enters the fray.

Anonymous has left a new comment on your post “Social Work Degrees – Dummy Graduates?”:

I find the comments you make about social workers incredibly offensive and really unfair. There is no evidence your claims that “most have personal problems, usually control problems”. This is really laughable and totally unjustified. I am a qualified social worker, having completed 4 years of hard study at a registered university, with over 1050 (that’s one thousand and fifty!) hours of practical placement under constant supervision by a registered and experienced social worker. I want to do this job because I care for people, and I want to help people who are finding things hard or needing some help so they can live life to the full. In order to do this properly I need to have knowledge, experience and accountability through a broad range of issues. This is why I have a degree, so I can be as prepared as possible for the work I do. I feel very sad for all of you who have had awful experiences with CYF, experiences that have changed your lives forever. But I appeal to you, please don’t direct all your hatred at social workers in general. They are at the frontline in a very difficult role. For every incompetent social worker named on this site I am sure there are 10 educated, experienced and compassionate social workers who are not being named. I work in a thankless job (not at CYF) as a social worker and spend my day trying my best to fight for people who are being overlooked and ignored by the system, people who have no voice. I spend my day representing people so they can get what they need. Sometimes I leave work and I never want to come back. Sometimes I go home and cry because I feel so small and useless and I worry about what will happen to these people. But I have to come back in the morning, because if I don’t, who will??

Thursday, 25 January 2007

Another CYFS Social Worker fronts up.

I’m so glad and proud to see that one of my colleagues has responded to some of the one sided, self serving comments posted on this site. I suspect there are others who may be feeling too vulnerable to identify themselves as social workers here – the site shows little evidence overall that anyone would welcome balanced debate or an alternate perspective. Yes – some social workers are idiots who don’t do a good job, but having worked in a statutory setting for a number of years now, I know that they represent only a very small minority of our numbers, and there are effective avenues available to you all for addressing bad decision making and misuse of power. Like the social worker before me, I to do this job because I truly believe in justice and despite the views many of you have expressed, there are so many children in our society who are not safe in their own homes …. Delcelia Whittaker, Craig Manukau, Lillybing, the Kahui twins …… all became the very public face of child abuse in NZ – but everyday we deal with those still out there — the kids YOU ring us about. When the statutory agents appear to do “nothing” you (the public) blame us for child deaths but when we do become involved and have to remove a child for their own safety – you want to slander and blame us for that as well!!! I passionately believe that children belong with their family, and will go to extreme lengths to help make this happen but the fact remains that some families are not safe places for children. I don’t know one single social worker who likes/wants/enjoys removing children…in fact its by far the worst part of the job, but its a job that someone has to….I wish it was different but until we can end child abuse in NZ, it wont change. Its also important to remember that social workers don’t have the power to walk in and takes kids….an order has to be granted by the Family Court first , and I have yet to meet a Family Court judge who will tolerate misrepresentation of the facts or entertain the personal bias of any professional. The Family Court requires information to be supported by fact : not feelings/opinions and this provides another level of safety for me as a professional and you as parents. As a final comment – you might want to consider that personal attacks against social workers (comments about their weight / dental health ect) do nothing to further your cause. To my colleague who wrote first – thank you !

CYFSWATCH Responds: If we were not interested in gaining as wide a perspective and opinion as possible (ie a “balanced debate”) – then you wouldn’t be reading this posting, as we would have deleted it.

Tuesday, 30 January 2007

A Social Worker in training shares their perspective.

I have watched with interest on the news surrounding this blog site and decided to pay a visit. I’m not entirely sure where I stand with everyones particular views. I feel both a sadness that parents feel that CFYS workers have unfairly taken children away and I also feel a sadness for the social workers who are being ‘named and shamed’.

I would safely assume that the naming and shaming is a way of directing any anger that harbours within parents onto someone. I know how much people like to find someone to stick the blame too, and direct all insults at.

I am only entering my second year of a four year degree, a Bachelor of Social Work, and even before I started I decided I did not want to work in a CYFS agency. One reason being, that taking children away from their families would do my head in. I’m choosing to work (hopefully) with teenagers who have behavioural problems or drug/alcohol addictions using Equine Therapy.

But I guess someone has to do the CYFS job. Would the nation cry out if CYFS was to be abolished? Would the continuing abuse and murders of children escalate or die down? I think keeping in mind that ANY system that deals with people has it’s pros’s and cons. I in all honesty have no idea how the CYFS system works, but there needs to be more ‘grown’ up handling of the situation in my eyes.

If a social worker in your eyes, is ‘power tripping’ or unrightfully (in your eyes) taking your children, you need get to the bottom of it, but playing a childish game of ‘oh lets dig up dirt and ruin their lives’ isn’t helping anyone.

I guess as I continue my training, and no doubt do countless hours of supervision to complete my degree I will be watching and quietly sitting back taking in what looks like a career that not many people will want to take on.

Tuesday, 30 January 2007

The story of the informal CYFS caregivers and the Warehouse vouchers…

My husband and I were granted ‘temporary carers’ of my brother-in-laws children as he was deemed an unfit parent. This was a hard decision to make, for all involved.
What this meant was that CYFs had ‘uplifted’ the kids and they were essentially in CYFs care. We were to look after the children under the ‘temporary care’ agreement – essentially meaning we were the CYFs approved caregivers. (The old terminology for this is fostering).

Did you know that as a CYFs approved caregiver you get over $110 (taxfree) per child per week! We were never in it for any money, and this amount just blew us away. Not only that, but we were told by the case worker that each child was entitled to $150 vouchers every three months, one for food (no alcohol or tabacco) and another for clothing (from The Warehouse – toys can also be purchased)! We never asked for these vouchers as we found it completely unnecessary – but I can see how some caregivers may be in it for the money. We could have got a good scheme going.

The other interesting point to my story is that after we had the kids for about 2 months, the caseworker came to our home to get paperwork done. She then said that another caseworker would come and do an assessment to give us the CYFs ‘approved caregiver’ approval. This never happened.

So I ask… We were given guardianship over our nephews and were paid a ridiculous amount by WINZ/IRD, and we were never really official ‘approved caregivers’. How can this happen?

(BTW, the money went 100% towards the children. They were spoilt rotten in our care, and we continue to spoil them now even though they are back with their father.)

Wednesday, 31 January 2007

An ex- CYFS Social Worker says “sorry” for his abusive colleagues.

Reply to Post:

I was moved by your sister’s story and felt compelled to pass my thoughts on to you. Your sister sounds like she was good person and a loving mum. She did not deserve to treated in the way she was. It also sounds as though she was bright young woman who had the capacity to overcome her difficulties and provide an excellent standard of care to your niece. She clearly should have been treated with compassion and respect by CYFS, not punished and humiliated. Handling the situation with care and sensitivity would of course have helped your sister, but more importantly it would have been in the best interests of her child – whose welfare CYFS were supposedly concerned with.

I found your sister’s description of CYFS going into her home “with concrete boots on” very pertinent and precise. Unfortunately this approach seems to be standard practice within CYFS when they “up lift” children. The sad fact is that a large proportion of CYFS social workers do not have the knowledge or skills required to perform such a difficult task in a less damaging way. Generally they make no attempt to minimise the trauma that children experience when they are “up lifted” and show no empathy for parents or carers whom they simply write off as “abusive”. I have personal experience of CYFS practices when up lifting children as I have worked as a CYFS social worker myself. I can tell you that the way your sister and her daughter were treated is not consistent with any social work principles I have ever come across. It certainly has nothing in common with my own values and ethics.

The first consideration for a social worker when “up lifting” a child needs to be how they can do this in a way that makes it as easy as possible for the child. The best way to achieve this is by ensuring that the parent or carer is as involved as possible in helping their child move. Most people want what is best for their children – even if they have problems that prevent them from providing the best of care.

I have found that most parents or carers will help to move their children to alternative care if they are given the opportunity to do so. It is the social workers job to support and encourage them in this as such an approach will make it easier for the child. When having a child removed from their care a parent should be encouraged to help pack the child’s things, swap information with the social worker about the child’s routines, favourite foods, favourite cuddly toy and (crucially) any health needs their child has. They should be given the opportunity to reassure their child, to cuddle them and to kiss them goodbye. They could even escort the child to their placement with the social worker unless there is a good reason why the parent is unable to know the location of the placement.

Your sister fully cooperated with CYFS and signed a temporary care agreement, which she was not legally required to do. From what you have said I can see no reason why she was not allowed telephone contact with her daughter. Face to face contact should also have been discussed and arranged at the earliest opportunity – whether or not this needed to be supervised by someone. CYFS have a duty to work towards re uniting children with their carers after they have been “up lifted”. It was therefore important for your niece to maintain contact with her mother. Maybe your sister would still be with us if she had believed there was a chance of contact and re-unification with her daughter.

I have performed child protection work for over five years. I have never been verbally abused or physically attacked by any parents even when I have needed to “up lift” children. This is not because I am the best social worker in the world. It is merely because I treat parents with respect regardless of the situation and see their involvement as the key to a positive outcome for their children.

I apologise sincerely for the conduct of my former colleagues in the way your family have been treated and wish you all the very best for the future.

Wednesday, 31 January 2007

Been there, done that, bought the T-shirt.

This site should be shut down. Since when did slagging people off and making accusations without due process become acceptable? Most comments made are anonymous and that obviously says a lot about those making comments. GUTLESS probably sums it up best. The role of a CYFS social worker is not easy and many would who have made comment on this site would probably agree and not want to do the job themselves. Social Workers can be compared to the labourer on the factory floor -they are the grunts who are directed by a system that we all agree is useless and doesn’t work.

Caseloads are too big and from experience 10 cases/families per social worker is a workable caseload whereby social workers would have a very good chance of working positively with families. Most caseloads are double if not more than that and as long as CYFS policy makers and management continue to allow this to happen DON’T expect things to change – this blog shoots the messenger and that is not acceptable.

If you want to do something positive and make some change so that the bullshit that has been happening to families by CYFS stops, take it up with your local MP’s or do something in your community to support the families that may be struggling – take a look next door – families struggle everyday and things are not going to get any easier. By making comments about individual Social Workers in this way affects more than them – it hurts their families, friends and peers.

If you think you are helping – you’re not. CYFS Social Workers already know that they work in an an environment that often puts them offside with a lot of people. CYFS is the most hated of all government departments along with IRD and possibly the police. It would be interesting to find out what occupation the owners of this blog do – maybe we could slag off their profession – should we start on the police ? should we start on the cleaners ? or on our neighbours ?

Its a damn shame you didn’t think about the consequences before putting up this blog -you have caused a lot of people a lot of shame and heartache and as they say – what goes around comes around. SHAME SHAME SHAME The fact that you can’t post a blog without having it screened first means you may not get to read this.

Wednesday, 31 January 2007

CYFS eats its own young?


Thank you for this site, it certainly allows you to vent many frustrations.

My husband and I are caregivers to 3 family children, and we have the misfortune of having an association with CYFS in the Far North.

These people LACK: professionalism, honesty, knowledge base, customer service skills, leadership and accountability.

We have been thought the so called “effective avenues” with our grievances to no avail, things haven’t changed.

We had applied for permanency but withdrew mainly because of reports issued by the social worker and a child psychologist which were not supported by any FACTS.

The social worker interviewed the kids ALONE, we were accused of all sorts.

The psychologist quoted so many extracts from books only people in her profession would know that these books even existed.

We were and still are in constant defence mode of ourselves.

Who is our voice? who stands up for us?


Thursday, 1 February 2007

A “Social Workers” response to their work?

January 28th, 2007 at 6:49 am:

Straight out of AUT, NZQA 63 credits in Social work and I’m now qualified, an expert in Sociology, reassured falsely that I am qualified and an expert, with a qualification equal with a BA, Masters, yet I’m not.

It’s just a lie I’m fed. As I paid way too much money for a course that wasn’t structured very well, and taught me by tutors who only know the theory, but have never lived the practical.

Young, hotheaded, I now think I singularly can change or save the world.

I undergo more training at CYFs, then I’m thrown into the deep end, and make families promises I can never keep, as it’s not in the policies I preach.

Children are forcefully removed and placed elsewhere, as I or the Department see fit. I have just sentenced a child to death. Their blood is on my hands, though I never laid a finger on them. But the Paedophile foster parent I chose, did.

I have no regret,no remorse. I just take another child from another family environment and place them with a sadistic drunk and a scatterbrained mother who likes the money offered.

Another child dies mysteriously. I don’t care. I just continue to do what I do, because the Department lets me.

I am hated because I am arrogant, tell lies, delay families support, back stab them, never return calls, mislay records of events, hold back much needed funding, so the sickos I have given children to benefit more.

All because some Russian wrote a Manifesto hundreds of years ago for the then Communist State so they could take from people whatever they wanted, whenever they wanted.

I blindly follow the policies designed to break down the family as a whole, as a unit.

Giving the homosexual or Paedophile the opportunity he/she seeks to carry out his/her perversions.

I am a Social Worker.

Thursday, 1 February 2007

Thoughts from a Social Worker currently in training.


I have read through your site with a matter of stunned disbelief. It absolutely floors me that people who are employed to ensure the best outcomes for the child can act in this way. The accounts add to my every growing list of why I will not work for CYFS when I graduate.

If people are screwing up in such terrible ways that they are adversely impacting on so many peoples lives then they need to be held accountable for their actions. I agree with the naming, however it does concern me that by publishing addresses of these people that other innocent family members may be put at risk and OK I can understand the need for revenge or to make someone pay, however its cyclical which is not good

I am not a parent, however have had an encounter with CYFS that left me feeling incredibly sad. I was called into do a special for a suicidal 15yo young person. The young person had been removed from her home along with the young persons sibling, and had been put into a community house where she was living pretty much unsupervised. The young person got a few hours a week from a social worker, but was left on her own the rest of the time.

CYFS turn young people loose when they turn 17, so why is it that a young person aged 15 is left living unsupervised in the community. I can appreciate that a young person of 15 could be hard to place in foster care, however surely there should have been something better done.

When I graduate, I’m aiming to put myself out of a job, to work with people so that they no longer need a social worker. While I live in hope that the entire social services industry could be put out of work because the clients no longer need the social workers, when I read the accounts on your web page, I tend to think that is highly unlikely. 😦

Keep up the good work….

Friday, 2 February 2007

Questions to and answers from CYFS Social Worker Nick Findlay.

What interested you in working for cyfs?


Why are children moved so often, especially when the family is criticised if they move?

If concerns of immediate or long term safety of children or young people are at a sufficient level the court system usually gives mandate for removal from care of parents and/or family .

Why are children’s siblings split up?

Despite best efforts it is rare to get 3 or more siblings into one placement.

Why do cyfs want the parents to move closer to the children if the parent(s) have support where they are?

It is about the needs of the children not the adults.

Why does it take 6 months to get your files?

Presuming that you are referring to Official Information Act, then such a period is outside the legislation time frame. The delay is about getting to the work, not about deliberately obstructing you or being annoying.

What’s involved in a police check?

Completion of a form and then sent to the relevant section of the police.

What is the complaints procedure?

To the Social Worker, then to the Supervisor, then to the Practice Manager, then to the Site Manager then to the Regional Office, then National Office with the Chief Executive, Chief Social Worker or Manager Operations. In all cases there is reliance on information from the staff involved.

Why is it that when the social worker asks for your opinion they do the complete opposite?

You would need to be sure that what was said, what was heard and what actually happened as actually being different or the opposite.

Are apologies given when cyfs have made a mistake?


The past is always used against us. When do cyfs move on, as we are trying to?

The issue here is about risks shown by history or patterns of behaviours. If the Dept. didn’t believe change was possible children would be permanently away from their families.

Why, if another person is going to court, is my information given to the judge by the social worker, then used to discredit me? Where is the confidentially of my information?

Relevant information has to go before the judge. The level of ‘proof’ is different in the family court to the criminal or district court. It is up to the judge to take a balanced view of the information presented.

Why do cyfs insist that ex partners come into our homes when they have been told they are not safe people, eg supervising access/living?

Not insisted on, more likely to be that the Dept. indicates that such arrangements are acceptable to the children.

How do they choose their foster families?

General recruitment, training and screened application.

Why are parents not told where their children are living?

You will be aware as to situations of abuse, intimidation, property damage that unhappy people do to caregivers or their property.

Is it a priority to the social worker to contact a parent when a child is in hospital or moved when in care?

It is good practice however it is usually only required when the parent is also a guardian. Quite often the child has been in and out of the hospital even before the Social Worker hears about it.

-Why are children held and delayed in coming home due to court dates?

You will need to approach the court on this matter.

Kind regards

Nick Findlay

PS: These seem reasonable questions and I have given answers that may raise more questions. However you may recall my suggestion about looking to establishing some form of contact with your children in as healthy a way as possible even if this having there initially. Otherwise as in my letter, I recommend you discuss the issue of blocked access (failure to meet the access order requirements) with your solicitor and/or the Family Court.

Friday, 2 February 2007

A Doctor with 20 years experience speaks out.


I am a general practitioner, and have worked in NZ general practice for just over 20 years.

In that time I have referred several cases to CYFS. I cannot recall one occasion where CYFS have acted in a way that I thought was appropriate.

I now have no confidence in CYFS, in fact that is too weak a statement, I have 100% negative confidence in CFYS. I do still refer cases to CYFS because I have no choice other than to do that.

I don’t see much hope for CYFS as it is now. It is just part of the disastrous matrix of family destroying policies we have in this country.

Friday, 2 February 2007

A NZ Parenting and family support organisation speaks out.

I am part of an organisation that helps parents to deal with their children. I do not recommend parents contact CYFS for help as it too hard to get the children back once in the system. And the parents suffer to the extent that the problem escalates from being something small where they need a break to a desperation and powerlessness for they have lost their children to the state.

Giving a voice to the people who have suffered and still suffer is a step in the right direction and bringing them together is an opportunity to bring about change. There are too many children being lost in the system and this number will grow as we introduce Social Workers into primary schools.

I find it disheartening that some caregivers feel this is an attack on them personally. There are caregivers that are wonderful and I would like to have the opportunity to say to them, “Thank-you” for your contribution to society. It is a big decision and a big responsibility to put your hand up and be counted for New Zealand and allow another family to combine with yours.

But in saying that, not all caregivers are as kind and loving and able to treat another’s child the same as their own and mistakes are happening which are costing lives and the well-being of the children. Sometimes this is even from other family members who have been given the children because of policy.

CYFS social workers will tell you themselves there are problems from being far too much paperwork to an immense load of clients. We have heard from politicians and the Children’s Commission that problems exist through the NZ Herald.

We are aware of what CYFS role is in society yet that role is contributing to more harm that good in situations. The youth that invade our streets at night are often in CYFS care. CYFS social workers have expressed themselves that their role is to provide a roof over a child’s head, food in their stomach, a chance for an education and medicine. All the basic requirements as policy demands. They will also tell you that the emotional needs are not part of their policy. This is what parents provide and emotional stability is just as important as the basics. With our youth in
trouble something is missing in their lives. Something is missing in their hearts and souls. A fulfillment and direction to want to be decent citizens of New Zealand.

CYFS must start giving rights to the parents. They must start acknowledging that they are of utmost importance to children’s lives. It cannot continue to come down to policy that destroys families but it needs to change to policy that empowers families.

For all of those that have suffered and to those that are still suffering I ask that you join other parents who are trying to change the policies in New Zealand and start writing to politicians.

Saturday, 3 February 2007

CYFS’ practices appal British social workers.

Saturday NZ Herald:

CYFS’ practices appal British social workers

By Simon Collins

Two British social workers have accused New Zealand’s child protection agency of “gross professional incompetence”, including unnecessarily ripping children from their mother’s arms without any idea where to place them.

The men, recruited by Child, Youth and Family Services last year, have resigned in protest at the “unethical practices”.

One, Manurewa social worker Jonny Ward, 35, sent his criticisms to CYFS minister Ruth Dyson and has been invited to brief her officials. He plans to return to Britain. The other man, 27, is unwilling to be named as he works for another agency and does not want to risk his registration.

They said standards fell far short of what they were used to. Mr Ward said he took part in removing children from a family last week with another social worker, eight police and two dog handlers.

The other social worker tried to stop the mother cuddling her son when she tried to comfort him.

The children were eventually placed with their grandmother.

“We could have spoken to the grandmother beforehand and told the children, ‘It’s okay, you know your grandmother’. Instead we had them in the back of the car, all three of them crying because they didn’t know where I was taking them.”

In Britain, he said, social workers tried to get the parents’ agreement to a removal, or at least pack the children’s belongings and make sure any health needs were known.

The Ministry of Social Development official in charge of CYFS, Ray Smith, said local practice placed more emphasis than Britain on keeping children within the extended family, which could mean searching for family members if children had to be removed in an emergency.

Monday, 5 February 2007

CYFS CEO Peter Hughes’ Job Description.

Children, Young Persons, and Their Families Act 1989 (Reprint as at 10 February 2005) 013

1: General objects, principles, and duties

7 Duties of chief executive

General duties

7 Duties of chief executive

(1) It is the duty of the chief executive to take such positive and prompt
action and steps as will in the chief executive’s opinion best ensure—

(a) that the objects of this Act are attained; and

(b) that those objects are attained in a manner that is consistent with
the principles set out in sections 5 and 6.

(2) In carrying out the duty imposed by subsection (1), the chief executive

(a) monitor, and advise the Minister on, the effect of social policies
and social issues on children, young persons, families, whanau, hapu, iwi, and
family groups:

(b) promote—

(i) the establishment of services (including social work services,
family support services, and community-based services designed to advance the
welfare of children and young persons in the community or the home); and

(ii) the adoption of policies (including the provision of financial
support to parents, families, and family groups)—

that are designed to provide assistance to children and young persons who lack
adequate parental care, or require protection from harm, or need accommodation
or social or recreational activities:

(ba) in relation to child abuse,—

(i) promote, by education and publicity, among members of the
public (including children and young persons) and members of professional and
occupational groups, awareness of child abuse, the unacceptability of child
abuse, the ways in which child abuse may be prevented, the need to report cases
of child abuse, and the ways in which child abuse may be reported; and

(ii) develop and implement protocols for agencies (both governmental
and non-governmental) and professional and occupational groups in relation to
the reporting of child abuse, and monitor the effectiveness of such protocols:

(c) ensure, wherever possible, that all policies adopted by the
department, and all services provided by the department,—

(i) recognise the social, economic, and cultural values of all
cultural and ethnic groups; and

(ii) have particular regard for the values, culture, and beliefs of
the Maori people; and

(iii) support the role of families, whanau, hapu, iwi, and family
groups; and

(iv) avoid the alienation of children and young persons from their
family, whanau, hapu, iwi, and family group:

(d) establish and fund Care and Protection Resource Panels:

(e) establish procedures to ensure that the cases of children and young
persons in respect of whom action has been taken under this Act are regularly
reviewed in order to assess the adequacy and appropriateness of that action:

(f) ensure that persons providing services under this Act receive
adequate training and comply with appropriate standards:

(g) monitor and assess the services provided under this Act by the
department and by other organisations, groups, and individuals.

Compare: 1974 No 72 ss 5, 6

Section 7 heading: words substituted, on 1 October 1999, by section 13 of the
Department of Child, Youth and Family Services Act 1999 (1999 No 82).

Section 7(1): words substituted, on 1 October 1999, by section 13 of the
Department of Child, Youth and Family Services Act 1999 (1999 No 82).

Section 7(2): words substituted, on 1 October 1999, by section 13 of the
Department of Child, Youth and Family Services Act 1999 (1999 No 82).

Section 7(2)(ba): inserted, on 1 July 1995, by section 4(1) of the Children,
Young Persons, and Their Families Amendment Act 1994 (1994 No 121).

Previous – – Contents – Search Acts – List of Acts – Next

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Children, Young Persons, and Their Families Act 1989 (Reprint as at 10 February 2005) 013

1: General objects, principles, and duties

5 Principles to be applied in exercise of powers conferred by this Act

General principles

5 Principles to be applied in exercise of powers conferred by this Act

Subject to section 6, any Court which, or person who, exercises any power
conferred by or under this Act shall be guided by the following principles:

(a) the principle that, wherever possible, a child’s or young person’s
family, whanau, hapu, iwi, and family group should participate in the making of
decisions affecting that child or young person, and accordingly that, wherever
possible, regard should be had to the views of that family, whanau, hapu, iwi,
and family group:

(b) the principle that, wherever possible, the relationship between a
child or young person and his or her family, whanau, hapu, iwi, and family
group should be maintained and strengthened:

(c) the principle that consideration must always be given to how a
decision affecting a child or young person will affect—

(i) the welfare of that child or young person; and

(ii) the stability of that child’s or young person’s family, whanau,
hapu, iwi, and family group:

(d) the principle that consideration should be given to the wishes of
the child or young person, so far as those wishes can reasonably be
ascertained, and that those wishes should be given such weight as is
appropriate in the circumstances, having regard to the age, maturity, and
culture of the child or young person:

(e) the principle that endeavours should be made to obtain the support

(i) the parents or guardians or other persons having the care of a
child or young person; and

(ii) the child or young person himself or herself—

to the exercise or proposed exercise, in relation to that child or young
person, of any power conferred by or under this Act:

(f) the principle that decisions affecting a child or young person
should, wherever practicable, be made and implemented within a time-frame
appropriate to the child’s or young person’s sense of time.

Compare: 1974 No 72 ss 4A-4C; 1983 No 129 s 3

Tuesday, 6 February 2007

Message from a former MSD Management Insider.

Hi folks, Well an interesting debate, NZ Govt vs CYFSWatch New Zealand.

Congratulations on your site!!!

I sincerely hope that the Govt sits up and takes notice of how people really feel and I hope that they look at the majority of stories and at a minimum investigate move to change the culture. I have read the entire site and thank heavens that I have yet to have had dealings with CYFS.

I have seen the manipulation, lying, backstabbing, misreporting and cover ups first hand. I have seen first hand however is how MSD treat their own staff, in fact I became part a management structure in that organisation that contributed towards it, something I am not proud of.

There are individuals in that Department still today that are bullies and it is these individuals that drive the organisation. The effects can be life altering and devastating.

Over over several years I made some interesting observations. Having worked very closely with the GM of Operations in her former role, (in fact I even had the odd drink in her pub in the past) and also working with the CE MSD I can tell you that that both individuals will be thumping their fists and roaring (or should that be ranting) but at night when they crack a bottle of wine they don’t give a fat rats arse about what happens.

I have had a conversation with one of these individuals during which they berated their own staff and stated that they were absolutely ‘ghastly’ to name but a few comments made in a “safe environment”. The question is are they now prepared to back those comments and statements? Or were they just angry with the minister of the day pressuring them into taking the job???

In line with Google ToS and not wanting to get personal so I’ll play nice. What people in key Govt need to understand is that the Internet is a big wide world and what you say and do today will come back and bite you in the bum. If not tomorrow then when you least expect it.

Karma has a way of catching up with you lovey. Aye Lorraine. O and on a closing note, the department has a funny way of shuffling lying, manipulating, backstabbing etc individuals around so be weary of internal movements.

P.S I got sick of the BS and left, but I implore this site never to give up. Rustic101


Anonymous said…
I too used to work for MSD and so have first hand experience of the management style of the people referred to here. I left MSD some years ago because of the culture of lies, cover-ups and payments made to people to buy their loyalty. Under the old DSW this behaviour would never have been tolerated – sadly the breed of CE and the senior people he has gathered around him since arriving at MSD to protect his interests only serves to destroy any sense of public service.

The public should be concerned that if there are problems as indicated by the various writers to this blogsite, then the current regime of management put in place by Mr Hughes will not improve anything. Ray Smith (the person I understand is now in charge of CYPFS) will not care about children and good social work. My experience of him over a long period of time in Income Support is that he is indeed a bully, a liar, and there are many questions about his ethics and integrity (including stories of sexual harassment). The Government needs to intervene and ensure that leadership of CYF is placed firmly in the hands of social work professionals and/or people with direct social service experience. teh experiements of having it managed by people like the current CE and Mr Smith will only continute to fail kids and families – just as both these guys have failed beneficieries.

Maybe you should extend this blogsite to gather stories of peoples experience of WINZ – afterall both WINZ and CYPFS are led by the two same people??

6 February 2007 20:15  
Anonymous said…
Maybe you should extend this blogsite to gather stories of peoples experience of WINZ – afterall both WINZ and CYPFS are led by the two same people??

I tried to set up a WINZ complaints group I had 5 people join but most people are too scared of getting their benefits cut. I had a case where the Minister at the time told them do to something a certain way and when the government changed they just stop doing what they were told to do then it went through all the processes which took 7 or so years. The last port of call was the supreme court and they just told my lawyer well you haven’t been successful so far so what makes you think you will succeed here and denied the appeal. Hows that for Justice. I have a friend who has been fighting ACC since 1974 he has won court cases but th e bastards just ignore court decisions. They are a power unto themselves.

9 February 2007 20:59  

Tuesday, 6 February 2007

Message from another Social Worker in training.

Hi There,

I wish to forward my e-mail address in the event that your blog site is closed down. I would like for you to send me your new details of next sights when they are up and running.

Well done for carrying on even in the face of closure as free speech is so important.

I am a social worker who is finishing off study, I have worked in NZ as well as Australia, and am very disheartened by some stories as one of the first things we are taught as social work students is to “do no harm”

I would like to think that my practice will never fall to narrow mindedness or a judgemental attitude. As then it would certainly be time to give up!!!


Tuesday, 6 February 2007

Some understandable indignation from a CYFS Caregiver.

Designer labels, hair dye, pocket money,$150 sneakers, fantastic outings, skiing, hotels, plane flights, boat charters, adventure parks!!!!

What, not in my house my 3 do not get that.

We are classed as cyfs caregivers.

They get their fortnightly accommodation allowance and quarterly clothing allowance.

If they require things like bikes there is provision for that, so I finally found out through absolute PERSISTENCE.

The Executive Manager Northern Region, Peter Topzand, finally disclosed that information after months of asking social workers/ supervisors if I could buy the kids new bikes from their clothing allowance.

Their answer was always “No” and when asked why they all said, “because it’s a clothing allowance”.

Not once did any of them but Peter Topzand disclose there was provision to buy the bikes.

They also pay for the kids swimming and dancing lessons. I do have to follow up to make sure fees are paid.

When the youngest was in daycare I was informed the fees were in arrears by 6 weeks even though invoices had been sent directly to the social worker weekly.

The 3 kids also have bank accounts which a set amount is banked every fortnight they also do school banking.

Under what circumstances would you give 12 year olds cigarettes???

Great site, this is my 3rd posting keep it up.

Friday, 9 February 2007

Another CYFS Social Worker steps up to the debate.

I am a parent I am a CYFS social worker.

I have followed the stories listed on this blog and if the concerns posted are accurate then these parents have reason to be horrified, angry and disempowered.

These parents and family members deserve to be heard and have their complaints investigated without bias.

Those who have lowered themselves to abuse, ridiculed the appearance of my colleagues and identified them as whores ( I believe this say’s more about you than me) only succeed in detracting the focus from the real issue in hand to less than mature insults that no professional will take into consideration.

Don’t get me wrong; I can understand why people have lowered themselves to using verbal abuse and insults when all else has failed but do the people making these types of postings aid in this cause or have they simply jumped on the band wagon for their own egotistical purposes ( exactly what some CYFS social workers are accused of doing).

I do not and will not defend my colleagues who may practice in a manner that takes away a families rights and destroys all hope for reconciliation with their child WHEN the parent has made change.

I can only speak for myself as a parent and a CYFS social worker.

To my colleague who previously posted about the impact this type of work has, I applaud you for your sincerity and commitment to the well being of our Tamariki. I use the word “our” because every adult that comes into contact with a child has a responsibility to ensure the safety and well being of that child. The onus is on all of us as New Zealanders, not just CYFS, Police or the Family Court system.

I ask you to consider (not agree) what those CYFS staff who practice transparently and have the best outcome for the child and families in mind face each day.

As I said , I am a parent and my day starts by getting my children ready for school, ensuring they are wearing appropriate clothing, are well enough to attend school and making sure their home work is done and they have appropriate food for the day.

I make sure as a parent that they get on the school bus so I know they will end up at school and be in a safe environment for the day.

During my drive to work I go into “work mode” and methodically list what families I need to be contacting that day and prioritize what needs to be accomplished to ensure my clients (the children) are safe like my own are.

My rule of thumb when assessing safety and the placement of children combines Departmental policy as well as my ever present internal question to myself “would I be happy with this situation if it was my own children?”.

Yes I make decisions about what happens to your children, but I do not go out and actively seek this involvement. Concerns about these children come from members of the public, Police, Drs, Teachers and the list goes on and on.

People, the reality is some parents do not ensure that they know where their children are, if they have had adequate food or been seen by medical professionals if ill.

Some parents do not feed their children for days, they lock their children in cupboards, let drug pushers sexually abuse their children in payment for drugs (sad but true).

Some parents see their child as being their own personal punching bag and inflict injuries from cigarette butts to the feet to beating them so badly they are near death.

Some parents use their children as tools in custody disputes and make false notifications to get back at their ex partner.

Some parents do not even attempt to have access with their children when in custody and this is not always because the professional makes the parents life hell but because the parent simply does not care or attends access under the influence of alcohol or drugs.

Some parents will choose to stay with a child sex offender rather than stay with and support their child who has been abused ( try explaining that to a child).

Parents who make this decision are not seen as SAFE parents.

Some of the types of parents mentioned above do not care their child has been removed until their benefit has been cancelled.

Yes my job is hard, I get abused and yelled at most days by parents but these behaviours do not make my work unbearable. What makes it unbearable at times is to see or read reports the abuse some of our children are subjected to.

As a professional you rationalize and remove yourself emotionally from these details but as a fellow parent your heart breaks.

To remove a child from a home is not an easy decision to make at any time, but these decisions should be based on factual information ( I hear you sigh and say but mine wasn’t!) that leads the social worker to form a belief.

This information is at times so horrific that action has to be taken immediately to ensure that no further abuse of the child occurs while further investigations occur.

To remove a child from its family is heart wrenching and impacts on every worker involved whether it is a CYFS social worker or a member of the NZ Police. We endeavour to make sure the parent is able to pack belongings and put the child in the vehicle and say goodbye.

Unfortunately because of some of the homes we go to and the level of violence or drugs this is not possible and yes children are removed fast and without goodbyes, the impact of this on the child and the family is not lost on us.

For me like my colleague who has previously posted, I also stop on the side of the road on my way home to let my emotions out and compose myself so this does not impact on my children.

This is what a parent does as a parent ensures their child is safe and that no level of abuse impacts on them.

Does it make me weak ? no I don’t believe so. I believe it makes me human.

Often after a warrant I will sit on the ends of my children’s beds and watch them sleep and thank God (no I’m not overly religious but who else do we thank?) that they are safe and that they will sleep the night through without hearing fighting or feeling someone slip into bed with them and touch them inappropriately.

I shed my silent tears for the children I have just removed from their families and the trauma this causes them but I also shed my tears for the abuse they have already been subjected to. It’s a bitter sweet outcome for all, while the removal frightens and upsets is it not better than the continued abuse the child is subjected to.

Its such a simple thing that we take for granted isn’t it? Sleeping through the night in safety.

No I do not seek your sympathy or compassion by bleating on about what I do each day; all I ask is for you to consider those of us who are committed to our job as a social worker and those of us who do act in the best interest of children.

The position I hold and the ability to remove children from their families still terrifies me to this day and I believe the day I am comfortable with this or become accustomed to seeing the abuse of our children to the point it no longer bothers me then this is the day I need to resign.

I don’t do this job for me or for you: I do it for our children – the children of Aotearoa.

Saturday, 10 February 2007

CYFS Social Workers response to CYFSWATCH – behind the scenes.


kiwi1960 writes:

I can now reveal that I have a few spies within CYFS itself. Ever since this blog started exposing the corruption, social workers have been running around like a bunch of headless chooks. The bad ones seem to know they are bad, and seem to know its only a matter of time before they are named on the blog, and they are running scared.

It started with internal memo’s to office managers asking, no, demanding that action be taken to close the blog, those managers then sent Emails to the higher up, and word came back, first, that action was being taken to have the blog closed down. Then, after more complaints, word came back from the higher ups that nothing could be done to close the blog. They were advised to ignore it and it “would go away”

The word also was that if named social workers wanted to, they could petition Google to have offending posts removed, if it named them, and they felt the blog was wrong or unfair, then they would have a better case to have the individual post(s) removed. This is what happened, Google did remove a few posts, but the stories were re posted by the blogger.

Round two to CYFSwatch it seems.

The social workers sent internal Emails to each other saying things like “if I find out who they are, I’ll make them wish they had never been born!” and “they want to call us bad then they don’t know what bad is if I find out any of my clients contribute to that blog!”

But CYFSwatch was still there, so instead of asking for the blog to be closed, one or two started sending Emails to the higher ups along the lines of “either you do what is needed to close that site or I will reconsider my position at CYFS”

Someone even suggested a stop work or a go slow till action is taken.

Yes, the memo’s and Emails were flying thick and fast about the blog, then someone had a bright idea. If you cannot beat them, then lets fight fire with fire. They suggested that social workers have their own stories posted on the blog, about what a great job they are doing, how hard it is, how much NZ needs them and that the posters on the blog were being really unfair and making their jobs harder.

That’s the stage we are at now, I can see the social workers arriving in force to make us look and feel bad. I have known for the past few days that this was going to happen, and it has.

But what if the blogger didn’t print their stories? Then they can accuse the blogger of double standards, or censorship. They felt they would be winners either way.

Well, whats next? I don’t know, I’d love it if CYFS went on strike, it would refuel interest in this blog. I’d love it even more if they resigned, but they know, they must know, that if they did either of these things, then the Government might just again reform CYFS.

One thing is for sure, the discussions taking place between social workers about this blog wont stop any time soon, and more and more social workers will send in their own stories demanding that the blog also print stories from those HAPPY with their CYFS social workers, where they were happy with the outcome.

Well, no one is stopping people from sending in such stories, and you know the blogger will publish any such stories he gets, but now, we have to beware of the social worker pretending to be a client happy with the service they got from CYFs, the danger is there…

…because CYFS has no new ideas on how to combat this blog. They have now tried it all, and failed. For once, CYFS is powerless.

They don’t know how to deal with this enigma.


By the way, why are a few social workers sending me this information? Well, I’m the first to acknowledge their are good social workers within CYFS, and I’d be the first to admit not all of them are happy with the culture that exists within CYFS. They know the best way forward is change, and this blog is the way to go, anything they say within CYFS is always ignored.

Sunday, 11 February 2007

Ex-CYFS Social Worker supports CYFSWATCH.

As an ex employee of CYF’S, I wish to say that the many comments expressed on CYF’S WATCH are not only unfortunate, but for the most part, are justified. I am none surprised at the expressions shared.

When I advocated to make right our many wrongs, my head became an immediate target for the chopping block. All very quick, all doors shut, all arses covered. So they thought!!!!!!!!

As we all know, an Agency such as CYF’S has a statutory obligation to uphold the care and protection of our children and young people.

For this to succeed requires the utmost integrity throughout the entire Agency and it’s individual employees, all of whom are ultimately employed by us, the taxpayer, the people of the state of New Zealand.

Those unwilling to uphold this level of integrity are individuals whom let down the side and are not fit to wear the shoes worn by those employed under the CYF’S umbrella.

The question remains, why are these types allowed to continue in these roles?

Well. it’s about truth. An act that surpasses all that is corrupt, that blemishes, embarrasses, cowardly behaviour, dodgy agenda’s, questionable delay tactic’s, to name but a few.

To achieve the truth, can only be done if some people would own up to their own crookedness and make it right….

If CYF’S wants the people of New Zealand to be at the least more supportive of their cause, then CYF’S at some point of the exercise must always, be honest and always be prepared to apologise for their own offences!!!!!!!!!

To exist without the acknowledgement of our wrongs, to not apologise, is a curse on one’s own self……thus, is followed by a self imposed consequence….

In the case of CYF’S, their consequence is perhaps what is reflected in the comments and expressions of the many.

Surely to be deemed or viewed by so many as lowly, as CYF’S, is enough to indicate that perhaps this very Agency is in itself a lost cause and very much on it’s own.

CYF’S repetitive empty responses, such as, “we’re overworked, under funded, not enough staff”, is old hat.

The fact of the matter is we’re all tired, overworked, broke and short on something in our lives.

Nonetheless, this does not negate the fact, that there is no place for behaviours, attitudes and work practice, that covers arse, sweeps the shit under the carpet, demonstrates acts of glorified bullying, cowardliness and all that is deemed corrupt, be it big or small.

Furthermore, in the matter of maintaining what is deemed “Confidential”, is fine, not a problem!

However, the act of maintaining this stance should only be done without any intention of exploitation, nor to be used as a means for covering up nor as some kind of threat.

At the end of the day, we are all within our rights to express and speak of our very own experiences and we should do so…….it is also possible to express all of our experiences, without breaching what is confidential.

Perhaps, it time CYF’s be shut down for good.

Set up a new body of sorts, that only handles the matters statutory and hand over the Social worky stuff to the community.

After all, there are plenty of community based Agencies who are doing a great job in this field.

To date, the present Minister whom ultimately oversees CYF’S, continues to be as useless as two tits on a bull. Give it up!!!!!!Why the hell do we allow it to go on???????

To the people of NZ and those behind CYFSWATCH, self advocacy is not a crime…….

Posted in Insiders Speak out | 2 Comments »