Turner seeks CYFS Complaints Authority
I have taken the liberty to email you this release from Judy Turner MP, calling on an independent complaints authority to be set up for CYF complaints. I gained your email address from the MENZ website which I regularly check as a researcher for Judy Turner and United Future. I apologise in advance if you do not want this email, but I thought that given the large numbers of fathers (and some mothers) out there that have had care and/or contact with their child removed from them by CYF – for which the only way to contest any decision is to complain back to CYF themselves, that you may be interested.
United Future family spokesperson Judy Turner is calling for the creation of a complaints authority to provide an avenue for people who feel they have been unfairly treated by the Children’s, Youth and Family Services.
“CYFS have statutory powers to legally uplift children from the care of their parents where it is considered the children are at risk.
“What I have discovered is that while the Children’s Commission has legislative responsibilities to investigate complaints about the decisions made by CYFS as they pertain to children, there is no independent body that parents and other adult family members can turn to if they believe that they have been treated unjustly by the department.
“Like most other M.P.’s I have a steady stream of letters and e-mails from families who claim to have been poorly treated by CYFS, and while I am sure that not all of them would be upheld if subject to proper scrutiny, I worry about the ones that could well be genuine and for whom there is no opportunity for redress.
“By way of analogy, the New Zealand Police Complaints Authority handles about 2500 complaints a year.
“The Authority is independent and is staffed by 7 full time employees and costs just over $2 million per year to run. Approximately
- 50% of complaints are not upheld,
- 13% (on average 343 complaints per year) are upheld or are partially upheld
- The rest are neither upheld nor not upheld, but are resolved by conciliation or are dropped.”
Mrs Turner would also like the government to fund the Children’s Commission adequately for the investigative work it carries out now.
Judy Turner is the deputy leader of United Future, and has taken particular interest and concern with outcomes relating to CYF cases and processes and the Family court. Last week she contacted Wayne Pruden to publicly greet and congratulate him when he reached parliament steps after his one-man hikoi, and met him privately in her office afterwards for discussions with him.