Social Development Minister Anne Tolley after announcing a complete overhaul of Child, Youth and Family to improve child protection and care earlier this year. Photo: NZH?Mark Mitchell
Social Development Minister Anne Tolley after announcing a complete overhaul of Child, Youth and Family to improve child protection and care earlier this year. Photo: NZH?Mark Mitchell

Boy left alone, after-hours, in office for Vulnerable Children

CLEANERS at the Ministry for Vulnerable Children reportedly found a boy, alone, inside the government office in Auckland after-hours.

An Auckland social worker told Radio New Zealand the boy was left behind, forgotten and alone, when staff left the Takapuna office one night recently.

She told the radio station it was unusual to forget a child, but that children were frequently waiting all day while social workers looked for a place for them to stay.

"It wouldn't be unusual for children or young people to be waiting in the office all day because there's no placement for them or a placement has been arranged but it's not ready."

The social worker told RNZ it could be difficult to find a placement.

"You've been looking all day, you've been ringing all day, you've been negotiating with a regional office."

She also said the rebranding of Child Youth and Family to the Ministry for Vulnerable Children/Oranga Tamariki in April had changed little.

Social workers were still typically looking after 20 to 30 families, instead of the recommended 15, she said.

The ministry has been approached for comment.


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