New CYFS plan just rearanging the seats on the Titanic - Blank

By Heta Gardiner

Child advocate Anton Blank says the government's plan to replace CYF with a new entity will do nothing to better serve children in state care. The new entity is expected to be in place at the end of March next year.

Blank has been supporting vulnerable children for over 20 years. He says the government's new plan is a waste of time.

“This government has shown quite strong when it comes to vulnerable children and supporting vulnerable children, however in terms of this issue; it looks like reorganising for re-organising sake. A bit of rearranging the deck chairs on the titanic.”

He's referring to the government's decision to disestablish CYF and create a whole new entity. This is the fourth time their name has changed since its inception in 1992. They have also had 14 restructures. Anton thinks we need to stop blaming them.

“Child youth and families is a real easy target, but the problem starts way before Child Youth and Family.”

He adds that the focus needs to be more on the root of the problem.

“Anton Blank - We're focusing at the wrong end, which is his ambulance at the bottom of the cliff. We should be putting much more energy into prevention and public education.”

He also thinks Māori have a responsibility to keep the pressure on the government.

“Unless we as Māori are advocating, the government will continue to see these issues as generic issues affecting all children.”

The new entity will officially be established next year.