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Monday, January 21, 2008

Anti-Smacking Law Damaging Foster Care System

Another negative side effect of Labour's anti-smacking legislation.

From the New Zealand Herald

A South Auckland foster care group says a quarter of its foster parents have quit because of the "anti-smacking" law passed last year.

South Auckland Caregivers Association chairwoman Allysa Carberry said the repeal of section 59 of the Crimes Act, which allowed caregivers to use reasonable force to "correct" children, had made a chronic shortage worse.

"A quarter of our members have left because of section 59. I could rattle off about 10 in South Auckland. I know of many, many caregivers who have been longstanding caregivers but won't do caregiving any more. It's too dangerous.

"These kids are really hard. They just don't care who they hurt, and you need really special people to take them on. If you have a kid that is yelling and screaming at you, what are you supposed to do?"

Child, Youth and Family Services has faced mounting problems finding foster parents in recent years, as the number of children in care has grown by 18 per cent in the past five years to 5049, while the number of single-income families with one parent available at home for caregiving has shrunk.

New Zeal

As someone with a little knowledge of the fostering system, this rings true to me.

I know one couple, very experienced foster carers, who will no longer take on difficult cases, because of the discipline factor.

CYF has long had a no smacking policy, which I believe has discouraged many foster carers from taking on children, particularly troubled boys.

Legally forbidding smacking will only make the problem worse.

What does this mean in the long term?

More damaged kids condemned to a life in state institutions.

Fewer deprived children able to enjoy the benefits of a loving family environment.

That's caring socialism for you.


Blogger FamilyIntegrity said...

Watch this one. Ruby Harrold-Claesson warned us of this when she was out here 18 months ago. Foster carers now do it for the love of the children. With a gross shortage of Foster carers CYFs will have to do something to attract more carers. What? Easy!!!!!! Pay them more. In Sweden where taxes are 100%, to pay for all their social services, Foster carers who are well paid are only taxed on half of their income so they earn more than a lot of professional people. So watch the signs Foster carers will get huge pay increases over the next few years. Then we will have Foster carers who are in it for the money not for the love of the children as in Sweden. Then we will see more child abuse. In Sweden the child abuse in foster homes is not reported so we don't read about it here. Ruby had some hair raising stories to share with us while she was here.

9:19 AM  
Blogger fostermum said...

As the person quoted in this article I would like to put some things

I was never interviewed about the repeal of s59 - I was phoned about a new
organisation that is due to be launched shortly. At no time
was I aware that I was being interviewed re the repeal of s59. This
interview should also have never mentioned the South Auckland Caregivers

As a caregiver for many years, I have always been aware that caregivers are
unable to harm foster children in any way. There has however been times when
caregivers have needed to restrain a child/young person in order to stop
that child/young person either harming themselves or others.

It is with this in mind that some caregivers have a very real fear with the
repeal of s59 of the possibility of being charged should they need to
restrain a child/young person or should the child/young person need to be
placed in time out.

This fear is quite real, and with the recent cases in the media regarding
parents and their own children, it is obvious why.

Caregivers often take in children from very sad and disturbed backgrounds.
These children/young people are very hard at times and it does take very
special people to take care of these children/young people.

I am also aware of caregivers that have left caregiving because of the fear
of being charged as well as because of the other reasons that were sited in
the article by Byron Perkins.

I am very sorry that this article came about

6:50 PM  
Blogger Trevor Loudon said...

Family integrity-Very good point. Totally in line with Labour Party philosophy.

6:51 PM  
Blogger Trevor Loudon said...

Thanks fostermum.

I didn't realise that and certainly didn't mean to represent you.

Fostrcarers deal with some of the toughest kids in society and need every tool in their arsenal to get them back on track.

You may not agree with me, but I believe that CYFS' longstanding no smacking policy has actually contributed to the fostercarers shortage we have now.

I think the previous poster is right, in that the good fosterparents-I prefer that word-are being driven out out and will be replaced by state employed semi-professional "kid farmers".

No good for anyone.

6:59 PM  

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