September 28, 2015
Whanau strengthening to address children’s problems
Maori Party co-chair Marama Fox wants to see a return to Maatua Whangai to address deficiencies in Child, Youth and Family.
She says with the expert panel working on the modernisation of CYF needs to look at some successful models from the past .
Maatua Whangai, which was shut down by the National government in the early 1990s, was a community-driven movement which sought to reconnect children in care with their extended whanau.
She says with six out of 10 children in care being Maori, it’s essential there is a Maori focus to the reform.
"We also need to strengthen whanau. If we do nothing but remove children without dealing with the fundamental issues of why there was a need to remove them in the first place, then we just put more children at risk for the future, we don't address the issues, and this is not a child-centred problem but a whanau-centred problem with the child in the middle," Mrs Fox says.
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