We all remember the Hon Anne Tolley, the then minister of CYFS say “It’s important our vulnerable children and young people have a safe, stable and loving home so they can go on to lead successful lives,” followed by “Oranga Tamariki will put children and young people’s safety and wellbeing first. It will work with families and whānau to ensure children and young people get access to the care and support they need and will ensure they have a say in decisions that affect them – this is what young people have told me they want” how wrong could have she been.
Children living in poverty, being abused and youth detention centers nothing but quick solution to having KFC delivered for free to kids screaming out for help and intervention, hoping for some normality in their lives.
Only in February it was revealed that almost 3000 of the most vulnerable children in our country are not enrolled with a doctor, and GPs say Oranga Tamariki has never asked them for help fixing that, which brings me to the issue of just how competent they are to be overseeing the care of some of our most vulnerable.
Currently I am supporting 3 children, who father is in prison, and a protection order is held against their mother. Living with a wonderful caring whanau, but desperately in need of counselling given the lives they previously led and the trauma they have been subjected to.
Assessed in June 2023, and 5 months later Oranga Tamariki have still not arranged counselling for them.
After conversing directly with management of Oranga Tamariki, I am then informed that the mother of the children is requesting care be given back to her, only months after her actions enforced a court to issues a protection order.
I could write all day about the continuing failings of Oranga Tamariki, but that will not get the solution that is desperately needed, which in my humble opinion is abolishment of Oranga Tamariki and starting from the beginning, which I seriously hope that the incoming government will do and is also something I will be strongly advocating for.
Jackie Foster, CEO, Social Justice Aotearoa