Whanau first?

November 15th, 2009 at 9:19 am by David Farrar

The Herald reports:

Abused Maori children in state care will be monitored to see whether they do better with their own whanau or another family.

Social Development Minister has asked Child Youth and Family to compare the progress of the 50 per cent of children placed with extended family and the 50 per cent placed elsewhere – normally with foster families or permanently with a new family – to see what works better.

This is a very sensitive area, and each placement will have its own circumstances. But in terms of overall results, it is a question that should have been asked before now.

The idea stems from her concern at the high re-abuse rate for Maori children and anecdotal evidence that some placements with extended family can do more harm than good.

Last year almost 1800 children were re-abused within six months, an average of five a day. Almost half of all abused children are Maori.

1800 a year is huge, when you consider that is just the number of kids who are re-abused.

The Maori minister admitted the question was “hugely controversial”. For 20 years New Zealand social work had been based on the philosophy that children should be kept with their blood relatives wherever possible.

“In my opinion it works when that extended whanau are taking full responsibility for that child.

“When it gets a bit blurred is when we know who it is that’s doing [the abuse], when we’re keeping them daily involved, and it all starts getting mixed.”

Detective Sergeant Megan Goldie, the team manager for Waitakere police, echoed her local MP’s concerns about the dangers of staying too close to parents accused of abuse.

“The family that the child is going to may be perfectly OK but they may not be able to keep the offending parents … away from that child.

That is probably asking a lot from the extended family.

Child abuse specialist Dr Patrick Kelly said it was a hard call: foster care also had a patchy safety record and permanent placement was a huge step.

But he agreed it was common for an abused child to be sent to an aunt who turned out to be no better than the original mother – and the case was renotified.

“By then the child’s been living in an abusive or neglectful environment for another year.

“Sometimes you can go through five or six cycles of that process before CYF is forced to concede that this entire extended family is dysfunctional.

“But by then this poor kid has been in that situation for four or five years.

And by then it is too late – the next generation of abusers has been created.

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15 Responses to “Whanau first?”

  1. Redbaiter (13,197 comments) says:

    Why do we continue side stepping the real problem?

    Welfare and the sense of entitlement it produces is the root cause of child abuse among Maori. Stop giving them money for doing nothing.

    Nobody’s life will ever be improved by making them content to live in poverty.

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  2. wreck1080 (3,801 comments) says:

    Sterilisation those with more than 30 criminal convictions.

    Whats the problem with that?

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  3. LUCY (359 comments) says:

    “The Maori minister admitted the question was “hugely controversial”. For 20 years New Zealand social work had been based on the philosophy that children should be kept with their blood relatives wherever possible.”

    Just how long do you have to keep repeating the same thing over again before you realise that the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result.

    There are disfunctional families. The majority of disfunctional families are Maori. Retaining a philosophy that children should be kept with blood relatives when you know this, meets all the requirements of committing an insane act.

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  4. Manolo (13,516 comments) says:

    Endless breeding of losers, bludgers and abusers. Enough is enough.
    Money will never solve this problem, but education and welfare reform will.

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  5. mickysavage (786 comments) says:

    This is dog whistle stuff.

    The current legislation says that whanau placement is preferable and that support should be available to families that need it. This is only a presumption, if the circumstances require it then children can and are taken out of their families and placed with non whanau care. Whanau tends to work better for the the low to medium cases in terms of severity but for the highly serious cases family dynamics normally play a part and therefore whanau placement is not appropriate.

    If Bemmett is saying that the current system is failing she should go to cabinet and get a significant funding increase to pay for more social workers and more foster homes.

    It will be interesting to see if Bennett proposes a law change or seeks the further resources. If not all she is doing is blowing really hard on that dog whistle.

    [DPF: Oh I love it. A (presumably Pakeha) Labour Party activist accusing Paula (who is Maori) of dogwhistling because shock horror she asked for a report on whether whanau placement is providing better outcomes.

    You would have been a good Catholic several hundreds years ago accusing Galileo of dog whistling]

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  6. reid (16,110 comments) says:

    “If Bemmett is saying that the current system is failing she should go to cabinet and get a significant funding increase to pay for more social workers and more foster homes.”

    Very telling mickey that the only tool you consider reaching for is increased funding.

    This is why the majority of NZ’ers finally woke up to the fact the 5th Liarbore govt was the worst govt in our history.

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  7. Patrick Starr (3,675 comments) says:

    “Stop giving them money for doing nothing. ” dead right! we seem intent building a society where only those in the worst possible position to have children can afford to have them, then sit back and wonder why bad shit happens

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  8. expat (4,048 comments) says:

    Clearly a change of course is required to reduce these stats. Whether its chucking more cash at the existing system or making a change to the system or both, one thing is sure the current system does not work.

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  9. side show bob (3,660 comments) says:

    Oh yeah, this is the solution, pleaseeee, spare me. How many nanny state services were started up by the last lot of clowns in power and the result ???, for fucks sake, enough bullshit and excuses. Is anyone asking why families are dysfunctional, I suspect there is but the real answer is politically unpalatable. Removing children from troubled families will be like pouring petrol on a fire to put it out. You think Harawira and his ilk are bad now, wait till they can get frothing about a “stolen generation”. Should keep racists like Harawira happy for the next fifty years. Stop making excuses for these people, stop trying to help, start by making them realise they must now help themselves or this shit will continue for another generation.

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  10. MikeNZ (3,234 comments) says:

    Sure all great views but what do we do for these children?
    They are ours too!

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  11. PaulL (5,983 comments) says:

    Two things to be careful.

    1. The statistics of comparing those in whanau placement against those not are a bit shaky. Those not in whanau placement, as Micky points out, are probably those who had more severe abuse. Having said that, if the raw statistics show those in non-whanau care are doing better, that would be very telling given that they are probably those who started off in the worst state.

    2. More money isn’t always the answer Micky. The structures and policies around child welfare in NZ work very well for children and families who have smallish issues – juvenile offenders who break the law once or twice (and get a family group conference at which someone who cares turns up), families who want to do the right thing but don’t know how, and need support and services to get them back on track. However, our system works poorly for systemic/endemic abuse in an extended family, where the family don’t care, where the kids are repeat juvenile offenders with nobody at home who cares whether they change their ways or not. Some change is needed to the system if we want to help these families.

    3. Why is it dog whistle? Bennett is seeking more information – she’s looking to see whether our current policy of always preferring whanau placement is really a good one. That is a legitimate question. Exactly what about it makes for a dog whistle?

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  12. noodle (151 comments) says:

    They are only little brown kids of no economic value and even their own families don’t value them except as beneficiary add-ons. You and I would not treat a dog the way these kids are raised. We would not be able to look into their crying eyes and endure their pain. Most of us just read the papers and “despair” at the awfulness of some families. But we are removed from it.
    Wait for more hui, wailing and teeth gnashing, Maori ceremonies, printing of dead kiddies photos on T shirts and blaming white colonisation. Toys, teddies and plastic flowers on the grave site. Overfed ignorant whanau giving media the fingers.
    The only person in this picture who seems to be rational is Dr Patrick Kelly, the paediatric beaten baby expert, whose voice will probably be lost amid the cultural cringe and flawed idealogy of racial appeasement and blindness to reality.
    Expect more of the same.

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  13. dad4justice (7,969 comments) says:

    “Expect more of the same.”

    No way that we decent parents should tolerate more kids being chucked into washing machines or babies bludgeoned to death like baby fur seals. Our country is a world leader in child abuse due to the lack of child protection training by idiots claiming to act in the child’s best interests, welfare hand outs and culturally sensitive horseshit protocol adopted by agencies claiming to help kiwi kids. Shamefully the Red Cross provides breakfast for four primary schools in my town. FFS what’s mum and dad do with the money bro!!
    When will Banjo K give the hammer another crack?

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  14. big bruv (13,554 comments) says:

    So we have two things to thank the Liberals for, half of all abused kids are Maori yet Maori are no more than 15% of the population, in nine years the liberals did nothing about it.

    The second (and IMHO far more damaging) thing they have done is get the rest of us to accept that each generation of abusers begets the next.

    It is the classic liberal ideal of “it’s not your fault” or “nobody is to blame”

    Nobody, be they liberal, progressive, communist, conservative or libertarian should allow themselves to be brainwashed into accepting that child abuse is something that cannot be stopped or is something that is passed from generation to generation.

    NZ has hundreds of abused kids who upon becoming parents did not continue the cycle of abuse, anybody who accepts that one automatically follows the other has given into the liberal propaganda.

    It can be stopped, child abuse does not have to be intergenerational, all it takes is for the rest of us to stand up to the pinko’s and to demand that our government take the hard choices.

    But most of all it demands that our government stand up to Maori, it demands that we (all of us) do not shrink from accusations of being UN PC and to demand that Maori put aside the colonisation bullshit and admit they have a problem of their own making that they need help with.

    It is time we stopped pandering to Maori and started telling them long and loud that THEY are failing their kids and that we have had enough.

    Are we brave enbough?……..Nah…Maori kids will continue to be abused and killed, simply because we do not have one single politician brave enough to put their career on the line and do something about it.

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  15. Bob R (1,357 comments) says:

    Another reason why birth control shots (last 3 months) should be a condition of receiving welfare.

    http://kidshealth.org/teen/sexual_health/contraception/contraception_depo.html

    They could also try the support programmes for family of teen mums as tried in the US:

    “College Bound Sisters was launched to help protect teen girls in the highest-risk category from getting pregnant and dropping out of school. There are strict eligibility criteria as follows:

    Is between the ages of 12-16
    Has a sister who had a baby before age 18
    Has never been pregnant
    Wants to attend college
    Is willing to attend a 1.5 hour meeting each week at [the University of North Carolina-Greensboro]
    Two groups of girls (one between the ages of 12-14 and the other between 15-18) meet separately each week for 1.5 hours with adult leaders.

    Meetings are held on the campus of the University of North Carolina-Greensboro in the School of Nursing and feature food, fun, fellowship, and education. Guest speakers, campus field trips, demonstrations, and an assortment of media covering a wide variety of topics help the program achieve its goals. In addition, quarterly meetings are held with parents of the program participants. These meetings provide a forum for discussion of issues related to adolescent girls.

    One dollar per day for a couple of years is a pittance compared to the costs to society of raising the child of an unwed teen mother.”

    http://www.usnews.com/blogs/erbe/2009/11/05/cash-payments-to-avoid-teen-pregnancy-great-idea.html

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