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    31 December 2006 – 15 February 2007

    By admin | February 15, 2007

      http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/PA0702/S00292.htm

    First step for CYF complaints authority

    Thursday, 15 February 2007, 4:35 pm
    Press Release: United Future NZ Party
    Media statement For immediate release Thursday, 15 February 2007

    Dyson announces first step for CYF complaints authority

    The United Future deputy leader is delighted with the announcement from the Minister for Child, Youth and Family (CYF) that officials have begun work towards the establishment of an independent complaints authority for the service.

    “Following the advocacy and hard work undertaken by (Judy Turner), I have requested my officials to investigate a complaints authority for Child, Youth and Family as in my view the member has proven that it would have merit,” said Ruth Dyson.

    Mrs Dyson also confirmed “further work on such a complaints authority will continue with the participation of United Future.”

    Mrs Turner said she is overjoyed at the announcement, but that the real winners of such an authority will be New Zealand families and children in particular.

    “Finally the first steps are being taken to establish an independent entity to ensure CYF becomes accountable to New Zealand families.

    “I look forward to pushing ahead with further work on the issue. I am also delighted that the hard work put in to sustaining a positive working relationship between United Future and the Government, has again led to a likely result that will benefit a large number of New Zealand families and children,” said Mrs Turner.


    15 February 2007 – Family First – Children’s Needs More Important Than Their Rights

    http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/PO0702/S00205.htm

    UNICEF Report Highlights Children’s Needs More Important Than Their Rights

    The UNICEF report released overnight is of no surprise to pro-family organisations who have been concerned about the rise of children’s rights, while at the same time children’s basic needs are not being met.

    “Recent reports of mothers being discharged from hospital immediately after giving birth, the under-funding of crucial services like Plunketline and HIPPY, and the lack of follow-up regarding immunisations for children are all examples of basic core services which children are missing out on,” says Bob McCoskrie, National Director of Family First NZ.

    “The claimed link between smacking and child abuse has also been dealt another blow, with the UNICEF report quite correctly stating “the likelihood of a child being injured or killed is associated with poverty, single-parenthood, low maternal education, low maternal age at birth, poor housing, weak family ties, and parental drug or alcohol abuse.””

    Mr McCoskrie says the proposed banning of smacking will have no effect on these factors at all, and simply diverts attention away from the real issues.

    “Our high teenage birth rate – now the 2nd highest in the OECD and almost double the OECD average – proves the failure of groups like Family Planning and the supposed “safe sex”message,” says Mr McCoskrie. “It is now time we expected wise decisions from our young people and taught them the benefits of delaying sexual activity.”

    As the report states: “Pregnancy has become a significant problem: giving birth at too young an age is now associated with wideranging disadvantage for both mother and child -including a greater likelihood of dropping out of school, of having no or low qualifications, of being unemployed or low-paid, and of living in poor housing conditions.”

    The breakdown of the family and its effect is also clearly evident in the report. The UK and US have the highest rates of children living in single-parent families and step-families, resulting in the worst overall rates of behaviour and risk-taking activities such as obesity, substance abuse, violence and sexual risk-taking.

    “With the OECD average of single-parent families being 12.7%, and NZ’s recent Census showing 30% of families with children being led by a single-parent, the effect of neglecting the family structure and its effect on our children is plain to see,” says Mr McCoskrie


    9 February 2007 – Family Integrity – Parenting is Bradford’s Target

    http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/PO0702/S00101.htm

    Friday, 9 February 2007, 9:32 am
    Press Release: Family Integrity

    Parenting is Bradford’s Target

    Has anyone read the Justice and Electoral Select Committee’s report on Bradford’s Bill to ban smacking?

    It appears to actually extend the use of smacking and other forms of reasonable force into areas many parents wouldn’t have thought of before. But the one area where responsible parents should definitely use reasonable force in the training and discipline of their children is the one area the Committee specifically ruled out of bounds: the correction of children.

    The Committee has decided not to repeal Section 59 of the Crimes Act as Bradford’s Bill wanted. Instead they’ve rewritten Section 59. In it they outline four areas wherein reasonable force can legitimately be used by parents. Now remember, Bradford’s objection to Section 59 was that it allows parents a defence of reasonable force when correcting their children, but that is the only motivation Section 59 allows. This new rewrite, however, allows reasonable force – smacking – for a whole range of other motivations, but not for correction.

    According to the rewrite of Section 59, parents can smack their children if it will stop them from an act of swearing or stealing. But if the child refuses to apologise for swearing or to give back the stolen item, the parent cannot smack or use any other kind of reasonable force, including time out, for this would be deemed as corrective, a motivation and purpose of reasonable force the rewrite specifically forbids.

    So we see that Bradford was never really interested in stopping parents from smacking or using reasonable force with their children. It is parents correcting their children that she objects to. It is apparently her goal to stop parents from performing one of their core tasks as parents: correcting their children’s behaviour.


    8 February 2007 – United Future Press Release – Turner exposes CYFS crisis

    http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/PA0702/S00099.htm

    Turner exposes CYFS crisis
    Thursday, 8 February 2007, 2:19 pm
    Press Release: United Future NZ Party

    Thursday, 8 February 2007
    Turner exposes CYFS crisis

    United Future family spokesperson Judy Turner today revealed the entire oversight panel in Tauranga that reviews the work of the Child, Youth and Family Service in the city has been sacked – by the Tauranga CYFS site manager.

    “I’m informed this extraordinary action was taken because the manager thought the panel was too confrontational and too critical of CYFS staff,” said Mrs Turner.

    “The job of the Care & Protection Resource Panel is to advise social workers responding to notifications, and to ensure that the standard of social work practice is sufficient to ensure the safety of children.

    “The panel has recently criticised the decision by site management to withhold some notifications from the panel, where the decision by social workers was to close the notification.

    “The panel believed that this may lead to unsafe practises for children. Even when an attempt was made to rectify this concern, the panel still ended up being expected to rubber stamp cases that had been already closed, contrary to the Act, which requires the panel to provide advice on all notifications.

    “The problem seems to be driven by a government policy that requires there to be no unallocated cases.

    “This sees social workers focusing on output rather than outcomes based on quality social work. Even once an intervention has happened, the department seems to change gear and focus on their new policy of strongly encouraging foster parents to assume the care of the children under the Care of Children Act, a policy driven by budgetary aims rather than the best interests of children.

    “The Tauranga Resource Panel certainly seemed very concerned about inadequate social work in many cases.

    “I am concerned that the site manager has been able to fire the entire panel against the Department’s own guidelines which state that a third of the panel must be retained.

    “Surely we don’t want to see these panels muzzled in any way that ends up making a mockery of the whole process.

    “This is surely further evidence of the urgent need for an independent complaints authority to look into complaints against CYFS,” said Mrs Turner.

    ENDS

    Contact: Judy Turner MP
    Tel: 04 470 6992
    Cell: 021 309803


    31 Dec 2006 – Family First – Bradford’s Smacking Ban is most anti-family Bill before Parl. in 2007

    http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/PO0701/S00006.htm

    http://www.familyfirst.org.nz/index.cfm/Media_Centre/Media_Releases/Releases/31_12_06_Family_First_releases_Top_Five_Pro_Family_Policies_for_2007.html/31_12_06_Family_First_releases_Top_Five_Pro_Family_Policies_for_2007.pdf

    MEDIA RELEASE
    31 DECEMBER 2006

    Bradford’s Smacking Ban is most anti-family Bill before Parliament in 2007

    Family First releases Top Five Pro-Family Policies for 2007
    Green MP Sue Bradford’s Bill to ban smacking and parental correction has been identified as the most anti-family piece of legislation which will come before MP’s in 2007.

    Family First has released its Top Five Pro-Family Policies for 2007 and at the top of the list is the rejection of Bradford’s Bill to ban smacking and reasonable correction by parents.

    “To threaten to criminalise the 95%-plus of good parents who are doing a great job and who are using techniques of parenting and guidance proved beneficial throughout the generations before, is a slap in the face to NZ families,” says Bob McCoskrie, National Director of Family First NZ. “MP’s need to support and encourage parents, not expose them to prosecution and unnecessary interference by Social Workers.”

    Also included on the list of pro-family policies is better recognition of full-time parents who sacrifice careers and income to raise their children full-time; dealing with the real issues of child abuse with tougher policies on drug and alcohol abuse which are also major contributors to domestic violence, juvenile crime, and gang activity; removal of the current Chief Censor and the toughening of censorship laws; and the strengthening of families with policies which encourage stability and best environment for children through marriage and an emphasis on the important role of fathers.

    “The environment in which we raise our children sets the scene for the NZ of tomorrow. At the moment, parents are finding our society extremely counter-cultural to raising children,” says Mr McCoskrie. “These policies will start to address some of the major concerns of NZ parents.”

    5 Top Pro-Family Policies for 2007
    1. Rejection of Sue Bradford’s Bill to ban smacking and parental correction.

    Invest in positive parenting programmes which educate and support parents e.g. Parents Inc, HIPPY, Brainwave Trust etc. Identify and target the actual causes of child abuse without penalising the huge proportion of great parents.

    2. Recognition and Financial Support for Full-Time Parents
    The Government continues to pour hundreds of millions of dollars into the Childcare and Pre-school Industry yet refuses to acknowledge the huge numbers of parents who sacrifice income and career to raise their children full-time. These parents should be acknowledged, resourced, and encouraged – not told to become economic units by getting back into the workforce.

    A recent Massey University study of 1300 people showed that only 2% of respondents approved of women working full-time when they had children under school age. Almost half believed that a pre-schooler suffered and family life suffered when the mother had a part-time job. Having two fulltime working parents is not in the best interests of young children. Yet, for many parents, they have no choice.

    Why do we pay ‘professional care-givers’ to care for our kids yet refuse to acknowledge the most natural caregivers – the parents themselves. We must invest in immediate funding of Plunket Helpline, along with fieldwork organisations working with mums and dads, especially first time parents.

    3. Tougher Policies on Drugs and Alcohol Abuse
    MP’s ‘dropped the ball’ in this area when they rejected the Bill to raise the Drinking Age. The Drinking Culture has been fed by the proliferation of retailers pushing the sale of alcohol (and therefore more available to teenagers), the extensive advertising afforded by the alcohol industry, and the poor role modeling by sports and media personalities. Much tougher laws on liquor licensing are urgently needed, along with major restrictions on alcohol advertising.

    A clear message also needs to be sent from Parliament regarding Drugs, including Marijuana, and a ban on Party Pills. Sufficient resources must be urgently made available to crush the ‘P’ industry which is destroying lives and families.

    4. Change the Censor – Toughen the Censorship Laws
    We have allowed an increasing and unacceptable level of violence and sexual content into our media in the name of free speech. The Chief and Deputy Censor have been responsible for the release of brutal rape and sexually violent films all at a time in which domestic violence, demand for Women’s Refuges, and violent and sexual crime is on the increase.

    There are also a huge numbers of hard core obscene DVDs that are cleared for adult (R18) home viewing ‘entertainment’ every month which are easily accessible to young people, as evidenced by the number of teenagers who have played Grant Theft Auto, despite its R18 status. Criminal activities such as rape, sexual violation of corpses, and degrading, demeaning and dehumanising treatment of women have been reduced to supposed ‘entertainment’ by these films.

    We cannot continue to ‘feed’ this material into our community without seeing it manifested at some level. We need Censors and a Censorship Board who will act in the best interests of all NZ’ers and families.

    5. Strengthen marriages, families, and the role of fathers
    The evidence is quite clear – Marriage is good for a nation. Scientific research is unanimous on a number of conclusions regarding marriage – that marriage increases the likelihood that fathers have good relationships with their children and lowers the risk of alcohol and substance abuse, domestic violence and child abuse.

    Conversely, parental divorce or non-marriage appears to increase children’s risk of school failure, the risk of suicide, psychological distress, and most significantly, delinquent and criminal behaviour.

    So many young offenders are coming from families where there is family breakdown, the absence of a father and parenting difficulties, not to mention violence and unemployment issues.

    According to The Heritage Foundation, an influential US research institute, an analysis of social science literature over 30 years shows that the rise in violent crime parallels the rise in families abandoned by fathers. Too many children are growing up in NZ without their dad actively involved, and with little expectation from the State for this to change.

    We need to encourage and strengthen marriage, including pre-marriage counselling and Marriage Centres used successfully in Australia. We need to hold fathers accountable to their responsibilities, both financially and in terms of involvement in raising their children.

    ENDS

    For more information contact Family First:

    Bob McCoskrie JP – National Director
    Tel. 09 261 2426 | Mob. 027 55 555 42
    email. bob@familyfirst.org.nz | www.familyfirst.org.nz
    P.O. Box 276-133, Manukau City, Auckland, New Zealand

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