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Vulnerable Children – Green Paper Submissions

Filed under: General — Bruce S @ 9:11 pm Thu 26th January 2012

The NZ government’s childrens action plan: Your opportunity to have your say here:

9 key questions etc. etc.

Maybe it’s just me; but the more I looked at this government kids action plan, the more I thought about one irksome question; how many mums and dads have killed themselves as a direct result of the intervention of government agencies in their family and domestic affairs? I can’t get the family court and CYFS our of my head; but the bigger picture in my mind is; are government agencies making kids even more vulnerable by driving one or other of their parents to suicide?

Perhaps the Green Paper should be entitled VULNERABLE FAMILIES?


  1. The Goverment is killing your parents

    Comment by Mike Campoli — Thu 26th January 2012 @ 9:52 pm

  2. Thanks for posting this Bruce S

    – Vulnerable families would be a much more apt Green Paper title.

    – Basically whilst the unaccountable star chambers euphemistically called family courts exist then I think ALL NZ children are to some degree vulnerable. Many good folks have made submissions to various NZ governments over the years saying the ‘family court’ should be open and accountable to no avail. I see no reason that government will somehow magically start listening now.

    The more sensible action, if you want to raise children as a parent is to move to a family friendly country.

    Comment by Skeptic — Fri 27th January 2012 @ 12:23 am

  3. Dear Bruce, I tried to estimate father’s suicides, a few years back, in writing a first principles analysis of DC Act. This paper is quite speculative, that is it may be true but is not proven. In others words, much more research effort is needed to definitively answer these questions.

    I submitted that submission to Justice Department, several days before closing date, but they never acknowledged receipt and appeared to ignore it. Maybe this was because I used Government statistics to show that overally, the DV Act was costing quite a few lives per year, due to father’s and children’s suicides being more than the number of women saved.

    I wasn’t very conscious about mother’s suicides then, so I gave it scant mention. I later read in the newspaper that Juliette Gilbert had committed suicide. She had previously abducted her boy Sky into NZ. When returned to USA, she was denied contact with her boy. After 18 months, she committed suicide. This concrete example forced me to realise that women are just as vulnerable as men. I had suspected this, but had no evidence to demonstrate it. (As women complete far fewer suicides per year and the shape of the women’s suicide graph is different through the years to men’s, it is not possible to identify suicides linked of loss of access to children.)

    If a solo mother could be triggered to suicide, then presumably even married couples could be driven to suicide, after removal of their children (rightly or wrongly) by CYFs? I do know personally of parents driven quite insane, by the treatment given to them by CYFs, so suicide is only half a step further.

    CYFs say that their responsibility is only to the children. If removing the children (in the manner that CYFs do it) destroys the parents, then this does knock a large hole in the children’s future life. This is not just social and financial support, parental suicide appears to increase the odds-ration of children’s suicide by about x10 (anecdotal evidence only, not successfully researched yet). Thus the long term impact of CYFs removal is to risk increasing the child’s suicide risk. Howevever, CYFs continue to claim that they don’t owe any duty of care to the parents, even with respect to children’s suicide risk.

    I recently asked CYFs for a copy of any reports giving children’s risk factors in society and in CYFs care. They replied that they did not have any such statistics. I know that similar data was prepared in UK and USA 30 years ago. It would be essential information for making competent child removal decisions. It would seem to be essential management information, so that they could measure their own performance in trying to care for children, through fostercare and adopting out.

    They replied that they did not have any such information….?

    It would take considerable care, to be sure that as a country, we were helping the children? We really should be taking these issues more seriously.

    I am not trying to say that CYFs are systematically damaging and destroying families deliberately. However, I suspect that they are doing somewhat more harm than good, at the end of the day. It is easy to see short term successes and fail to notice and account for longer term damages also occurring.

    Please do not think that I see no hope.

    On the contrary, where we used to turn away when we saw an obviously damaged parent, we now listen more carefully and are getting better at realising that these are real situations and huge destruction is being done.

    CYFs and judges could hide behind “we are mature, sensible, upright citizens and we wear expensive clothes” and discredit the damaged people. Now the public are starting to realise that another way of looking at the same situation might be “these judges are manslaughterers, when they drive a parent to suicide, as the outcome was quite forseeable”.

    If we ignore obvious warning signs, then in the end we will be held accountable for the resulting disaster.
    Cave Creek, noone prosecuted, yet.
    Pike River Coalmine, charges laid.
    NZ familycaught, lets get the evidence together and see if charges should be laid?
    Thanks, MurrayBacon in-credible axe-murderer.

    Comment by MurrayBacon — Fri 27th January 2012 @ 8:09 am

  4. Jim Bagnall and I were protesters for one of these tour venues. It was real funny cause Jim was called a racist from a Maori (as if this is a Maori problem only) and then attacked by women for saying professionals are desecrating the ‘bill of rights’. I was late and walked into the meeting with everyone smiling as if to say welcome and I said, Where are the protestors?”

    Oh gosh, I got an apology and left pages of good stuff I’ve made.


    Oh, gee, life is exciting standing up instead of running away.

    Comment by julie — Fri 27th January 2012 @ 10:22 pm

  5. Here’s a MAJOR positive move being made in the UK to deal with vulnerable children. Something NZ could well learn from IMO – From today’s Daily Mail :

    Child’s right to see an absent father: Law to help millions from broken homes

    Government to draw up radical changes to the 1989 Children’s Act

    £10m will be pledged to help couples settle out of court

    Figures show one in five children lose contact with a parent after separation

    Read more:

    Comment by Skeptic — Fri 3rd February 2012 @ 2:48 pm

  6. Here is further news confirming the UK Government’s resolve to help kids have contact with their fathers AND paternal extended families. This is a major breakthrough IMO as once it goes through the positive results can be used as evidence to push it through in other countries. The question for NZers is how long they wish to remain in the past creating yet another disadvantaged generation of under-parented usually underclass NZers.

    The working group, comprising education ministers Tim Loughton and Sarah Teather, and justice minister Jonathan Djanogly, has been asked to come up with proposals on how the law should be changed within two months.
    Campaign group Fathers4Justice claims that every day 200 children lose contact with their fathers because of decisions taken in family courts. Under the plans the 1989 Act could be amended to include a ‘presumption of shared parenting’, this newspaper has learnt.

    I think governments throughout the anglosphere would be wise to lower barriers to kids having the meaningful relationship with their fathers that they deserve pronto. After all the male pill is on the horizon (Gardarusa Male contraceptive pill goes on sale in Indonesia this year) and there’s the danger otherwise of men wholesale switching off fathering altogether because of the institutional barriers which men’s groups have highlighted for decades but governments have ignored..

    Comment by Skeptic — Fri 3rd February 2012 @ 3:19 pm

  7. Reply to #6 Sceptic. While the UK is moving in the right direction, Australia is moving in the opposite direction. No doubt following New Zealand’s lead ! If you have the guts after reading the story, listen to the “Audio” commentary.

    Comment by golfa — Fri 3rd February 2012 @ 4:04 pm

  8. Were ALL alternatives considered? [only solution…]
    For example, was the father willing to take care of the child himself?
    The newspaper reporter has not covered this important point!
    Some judges around the world, ie NZ Boshier, UK, USA and I believe Australia too, have ordered a reversal of custody in this type of situation, often with a suggestion that the parents see if they can negotiate shared care at a later date. (If there are constructive incentives put in place by the judge, then it is amazing how intractable disputes can disappear quite quickly……)
    Although the newspaper says that the father was negative about the mother, was he actually so negative that he would not have been able to take care of the girl? (Has he previously cared for other children?)
    Shared Parenting does seem to be coming into much stronger acceptance around the world. Sure, there are stupid things happening too, but the trend in favour is gathering strength.
    In my book, a “judge” who gives in to blackmail of that sort, isn’t worth their salt.
    Best regards, MurrayBacon.

    Comment by MurrayBacon — Fri 3rd February 2012 @ 4:33 pm

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