Children's Commissioner's report highlights need for better state care for Māori

By Ripeka Timutimu

A Māori social worker who grew up in foster care says majority of Māori children under Child, Youth and Family care often lose their identity, and fall through the gaps as adults.  The Children's Commissioner released the report "State of Care" which highlighted Child, Youth and Family's failure to deliver proper care to Māori in the system.

Daryl Brougham entered CYF foster care aged 6 months old.  It wasn't until he was 13, that he realised he was Māori.

Since March this year, 2970 of the 5133 children in CYF care, were Māori.  Brougham says it's tough being Māori in the CYF system.

The Commissioner for Children say CYF is not consistently supporting the large number of children in care with Māori whakapapa to identify with their culture.

Brougham was 21 years old when his father died.  He attended his funeral in Ngāti Maniapoto, and it was the first time he had ever seen him.

Brougham is adamanat an increased Māori focus could avoid kids going through what he did.

The government supports the findings in the report, but it's a waiting game to see if any changes to law occur so the Māori children are better cared for under CYF.