October 07, 2019
Children’s homes stuck in wrong century
The Children's Commissioner wants rapid action on creating specialised family care homes to replace the current system of secure residential units.
In his latest report based on interviews with 52 tamariki and rangatahi in care, Judge Andrew Becroft says the five secure units are relics of the past like orphanages, borstals and boys' homes.
He told Paakiwaha host Dale Husband if he had his way he'd put a bulldozer through them, but he'd accept a phased closure.
"I'd love a prioritised commitment to building expert supervised family homes throughout the country rather than shipping or flying these young people miles way from their families and their local communities and their support, to have these family like homes scattered throughout New Zealand. These children deserve more. They have done nothing wrong, and the way we support them needs to change," Judge Becroft says.
The secure units have meant responsibility for the children has been left to Oranga Tamariki, whereas Health and Education also have major roles to play.
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