On Close-Up (TV ONE) last night Susan Wood introduced a story “that would scare any parent”, about a North Shore father accused of sexually abusing his daughter.
An anonymous caller to the CYFS 0800 number claimed that he had been seen bouncing his three-year-old daughter up and down on his knee while reading her a bedtime story.
Despite the fact the couple’s son is also not school age yet, letters naming the children were imediately sent to Albany schools alerting them to the fact that the family was under investigation.
When a psychologist finally got around to interviewing the children, it took her only 15 minutes to decide the children were not at risk.
Chief Social Worker Marie Connolly defended the fact that the letters were sent even before the family was spoken to. When asked if CYFS would appologise to the family she replied:
“We take all investigations seriously. It’s inevitably difficult for families when a social worker investigates a sexual abuse allegation, but nethertheless our concern is primarily with the safety of the child, and it would be irresponsible for us to not investigate these matters.”