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Social Worker Thug
November 23, 2011 permalink
Police in New Zealand are investigating a social worker accused of punching 15-year-old foster boy Robert Stuart in the nose. The boy ran away.
CYF suspends staffer in assault probe
A Nelson social worker accused of hitting a 15-year-old Richmond boy who then went missing has been suspended and is expected to be interviewed by police today.
Detective Senior Sergeant Wayne McCoy confirmed the boy, Robert Stuart, was located yesterday and interviewed at the Nelson Police Station about an alleged assault in which the boy received a bleeding nose at the Richmond Police Station on November 8.
"I can tell you the police were aware of it because I was notified on the 8th when the incident took place. I gave advice. Part of that advice was to have the 15-year-old evidentially interviewed on the following date."
A specialist interviewer had to be used because of the boy's age. "If it's going to end up in court, we need to do it properly."
But that interview never happened because the boy went missing, Mr McCoy said. He did not know where he had been in the meantime or how he came to be found yesterday.
"All I know is he was at the police station and we were able to interview him. Now it's only fair that we put the allegation to the other party involved."
Mr McCoy said he hoped this would be done today.
"As a result of the interview yesterday, further inquiries will be done."
Child Youth and Family confirmed its staff member had been stood down as a result of the investigation into the alleged assault.
"We are taking this extremely seriously," southern regional director Kelly Anderson said in a statement. "I have commenced an HR investigation which will establish the full facts of what happened. Until that time the staff member concerned has been suspended. This ministry has a zero tolerance policy and if this staff member is found to have assaulted this boy, that staff member will be dismissed. We are also working to ensure appropriate arrangements for the boy's care are put into place."