Licence tests for parents
Economist Murray Weatherston says child abuse costs New Zealand $1.25 billion a year. About 120 people, including social workers, paediatricians and Children’s Commissioner Cindy Kiro, attended a one-day seminar on Monday called by Weatherston and Family Court Judge Graeme MacCormick.
NZ Herald: Parents should sit licence test, say experts
A high-powered expert group has proposed a kind of “parents’ licence test” which all parents would have to sit to keep care of their children and to receive child-related welfare benefits.
The proposed assessment, similar to a driver’s licence, would be administered when a baby was born and repeated when the child turned 1, 3, 5, 8, 11 and 14.
Parents found to have “risk factors” for child abuse, such as domestic violence, drug and alcohol problems or mental illness, would be offered help.
Judge Graeme MacCormick, a former Family Court judge who initiated the proposal, told a seminar in Auckland yesterday that parents who refused to accept help, or to be assessed, should have their child-related benefits suspended and possibly lose their children.
If currently popular “no smacking” standards are imposed, around 80% of us are going to fail. Perhaps a massive programme of building state orphanages is just around the corner.
Are the “risk factors” likely to be applied in a gender-neutral manner I wonder? Mmmm…
Parenting Council chairwoman Lesley Max said society should not tolerate “child hostage” situations where “fearsome fathers or father figures frighten away those who might help”.