December 16, 2020
Care homes ongoing threat to children
The Māori Assistant Commissioner for Children says there is nothing in place to stop the continued abuse of children in care.
The first interim report from the Royal Commission of Inquiry released yesterday says since 1950 up to 655,000 people had been placed in state or faith-based care, and almost a third had suffered some form of abuse.
Glenis Philip-Barbara says that's probably an under-estimate, and she’s concerned at an estimate that four in five of those abused were Māori.
She says while the Office of the Children’s Commission has a role to monitor large state residences, children they feel unsafe to complain.
"Kids we've talked to speak of the hopelessness of even thinking about reporting these things because they are not listened to or they don't feel safe to use the process because for some kids in places like this, they have to file the report or make the complaint to the person who is responsible for hurting them," she says.
Ms Philip-Barbara says it’s a mistake to think the abuse is historical, which is why the Commissioner for Children is recommending the closure of large care and protection residences and youth justice homes.
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