A judge has held out hope two parents in a shocking case of child neglect could have their children returned to them.
The Lower Hutt couple’s four children, aged 4 and under, were taken into care in January after police found them living in squalor while their parents partied.
However, police and child experts cast doubt on whether the parents could learn from their past mistakes.
“This was not an issue of poverty for this family. These parents simply prioritised alcohol, drugs and parties ahead of the needs of their children,” Inspector Mike Hill said after the sentencing.
And the background to the parents is sad:
The mother was one of 18 children, had started binge-drinking aged about 13, and was expelled from school before having her first child at 17.
The father had been taken out of his alcoholic mother’s care as a baby and had never met his father. He started drinking heavily when he was about 15 and was introduced to gangs a year later.
So the grandparents were dysfunctional. The parents are dysfunctional and the kids may have already been so damaged that they will grow up dysfunctional.
Stopping the cycle of child abuse is incredibly hard. In this case though CYF should have intervened earlier. It was the Police responding to a noisy party that led to them losing the children. CYF had been involved for five years trying to help the parents. But some parents can’t be helped, sadly.