CYF taking babies at birth

The Dom Post reports:

Child, Youth and Family took 66 at-risk babies less than a month old into its care last year and 15 of them were taken the day they were born.

In more than half of the cases, older brothers and sisters were already in care, figures provided to The Dominion Post under the Official Information Act show.

The number of custody orders involving newborns has more than doubled in the past five years. In the 2003-04 year, 32 were taken into state care.

And I say good on them – the kids may grow up safe. Parents with a history of child abuse, do not have a right to keep inflicting misery.

I am reminded of the pregnant 14 year old who has twice been arrested for drink driving. I find it impossible to believe she could safely raise her children – even if they survive the pregnancy.

I am reminded of the words of a friend of mine who is a journalist. She described how she cried when she heard Antonie Dixon had killed himself. She attended his trials, and explained she didn’t cry for the sociopathic killer he had become, but for the tortured abused childhood he had to endure.

It was a salient reminder that so much of our crime (and “underclass”) is due to abusive childhoods, and that we need to be more aggressive in protecting at risk kids. And no, that does not mean passing an anti-smacking law – which was a gaint distraction from the real problem.

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