Western Leader : February 7th 2012
www.westernleader.co.nz 4 WESTERN LEADER, FEBRUARY 7, 2012 OPINION Proudly 100% NZ owned and operated and supporting the Community since 1971. www.madbutcher.co.nz Offers valid from Mon 6th February - Sun 12th February. All Stores Open 7 Days GREAT LOW PRICES FOR FRESH TEGEL CHICKEN! Serving suggestion only Serving suggestion only 20 Hash Browns $5 for only Chicken Drumsticks and Thighs $4 only .99 kilo Boneless Skinless Chicken Breast Fillets and Boneless Diced Chicken Meat $11 only .99 kilo Super Deal from the Freezer! The double sorrow of parting CONTACT US To contact Pat Booth email email@example.com or write care of this newspaper. All replies are open for publication unless marked Not For Publication. A caregiver's views: The column comments on CYF came at an appropriate time. I have watched and sym- pathised as an anguished caregiver friend of mine has had a child of seven with a history of six placements in her short life taken from her care. The little girl was placed back with her biological mother after two years. She hasn't had any relationship with her mother other than access since she was only a few months old. She has been shuffled between extended family members all her short life -- each one ending in fail- ure. She has been very happy with this caregiver who valiantly sought that CYF consider the impact of this decision on the girl after CYF told her earlier that it was unlikely the child would be moved from her care and that a permanent place- ment with the caregiver family was likely. She and her husband and chil- dren are devastated -- they drove this wee girl hundreds of kilometres to her mother so she knew how much they cared for her. When they arrived for the hand- over there was not even a social worker there to meet them and to help with the transition. It was just them, the child and the biological mother.'' Another case: A 12-year-old boy with severe anxiety has been tossed about in foster care for 10 months because the court cannot decide whether he needs to be in a permanent placement or not. Obviously, returning to his grandmother and a grandfather who has beaten him for his dis- obedience is not an option. Yet the grandmother he has lived with most of his life lost her own children to the State years ago but was still given the care of this grandson and several others until they became teenagers. She can't be bothered with them anymore. This boy was given no notice -- just social workers who walk in to his current caregiver's home and tell him to pack a bag, he's being moved. Their excuse is that the caregiver told them, reasonably enough, that they needed to make a permanent decision for his care immediately because 10 months of indecision was not acceptable. This is how CYF works. When a caregiver advocates for the child they just turn on them and ultimately the child will pay for it. We have to be so careful that we don't cross the line but at the same time try to be the child's advocate as they have no one else.'' Another case: With the first newborn I cared for, I was told that you must not fall in love with these children'. Tell me how I could care for this child without love? To get up every night two and three hourly, respond to the cry of a newborn infant as any mother should, nur- ture to allow them to experience love and care so as to let them grow and to develop into proper functioning and caring human beings. All the while dealing with neg- ligent social workers and visitation access with biological parents daily disrupting any kind of routine or stability that you are trying to cre- ate for this newborn. It is physically and emotionally exhausting. One social worker even had the nerve to tell me that our babies are used to it' after I complained how difficult it was to develop rou- tine with a newborn baby being constantly dragged away for access each day and passed around like a parcel between whanau until such time as the novelty wore off.'' Another caregiver's view: Science has now proven that the developing brain of a baby must first be allowed to develop and form emotionally even before any other wiring of the brain takes place to ensure the development of a healthy, well-adjusted child. My God, how we are failing to do this. I just cannot help but think that the child abuse these children suffer is double, first at the hands of their parents or whanau, and then at the hands of our pathetic welfare system. So many of us just give up, it's too hard . . . fighting the system. Volunteers run this country and yet we get abused and ill-treated until we burn out and they move on to the next innocent victims. We have no say, our voices in advocating for these children are not heard. Then to top it off we are given no support from these agencies, they fail to keep up with their responsibilities in providing care plans, caregiver social workers, support and acknowledgement of the work we do. We are just part of the system -- lost and ticked off along with the children in care at their audits, either with a smiley face or a cross. As long as their stats add up and the boss is happy, they don't care what happens after the child is moved back into whanau care. Keep me anonymous, I need to carry on with the work I am doing for these kids. It's a job God has given me. But I also believe he wants me to make it known how huge the failings for his children are within the system.'' Next week: The house that made Jack.
February 3rd 2012
February 9th 2012