Press one of the expand buttons to see the full text of an article. Later press collapse to revert to the original form. The buttons below expand or collapse all articles.
New Zealand AIDS Girl
June 25, 2012 permalink
While many graduates of foster care report abuse, todays case beats most. New Zealand CYF placed a girl with her uncle, a convicted sex offender. He raped the girl, as did his friend who had AIDS. The girl, now an adult, is HIV positive as is her child. The CYF response, right out of the script: "changes were made this year to ensure better checks were made". New Plymouth's Safer Family Centre counsellor Bob Stevens said he had sympathy with social workers who were often put under pressure to place an at-risk child.
Another article referred to the woman as Joanne.
Victim of rape faults CYF
A woman sexually abused after CYF placed her into the care of her uncle, a convicted rapist, believes there are many more cases like hers.
The woman and her first-born are HIV positive as a result of also being raped by her uncle's friend, who has since died of Aids.
Her claim has been backed by a prominent Taranaki sex abuse counsellor.
The woman, when a troubled Taranaki teenager, was placed in the care of her uncle, a convicted rapist, by Child, Youth and Family.
Child, Youth and Family has apologised to the woman – now in her late 20s – and said changes were made this year to ensure better checks were made.
She was removed from the uncle's home when she told her social worker about the abuse.
Yesterday the woman spoke to the Taranaki Daily News, saying she believes there were "thousands" more like herself.
CYF was unable yesterday to tell the paper how many complaints of abuse they had received.
The woman, whom the Taranaki Daily News has agreed not to name, said she was continuing to work with lawyers and TV One's Marae Investigates programme to ensure that gaps in CYF youth justice placement policies were closed. She did not want others to be abused.
The woman said both she and her child were keeping well.
New Plymouth police confirmed yesterday she was interviewed by police more than a decade ago.
New Plymouth's Safer Family Centre counsellor Bob Stevens spoke to the Taranaki Daily News yesterday, after the teenager's story was revealed on Sunday.
Mr Stevens said he had sympathy with social workers who were often put under pressure to place an at-risk child.
"I do really appreciate the difficulty that there is for social welfare agencies to find a place for a child. It's a multifaceted problem and hasn't got a simple solution.
"I'm encouraged they have put that prevention into their system rather than go on about what happened that you can't change.
"I do not believe that a social worker that I know of would deliberately throw a child to the wolves, as such, for the sake of expediency, but then sometimes expediency demands this child goes into a placement and you take the calculated risk, I suppose.
"Personally, I have dealt with too many cases to want to remember, including recently, in situations I believe were avoidable," Mr Stevens said.
"At times I've despaired at a system that has allowed a child who has been abused to be put in a placement where the abuse is ongoing by other offenders," Mr Stevens said.
Child Alert director Alan Bell said yesterday CYF assurances still left room for doubt.
"Even though this occurred some years ago in 2001, it seems incredible that such a thing could happen.
"It is an absolute travesty that a government agency could actually place a 16-year-old girl for safekeeping with a convicted sex offender.
"The New Zealand record of child abuse is dismal ... When abuse occurs after children at risk have been taken into care by a government agency the public are justified in requiring the highest standard of safeguarding them from that point on."
Source: Taranaki Daily News