2 Aug 2018

Oranga Tamariki failing to care for 'our babies' - grandmother

From Morning Report, 8:14 am on 2 August 2018

The grandmother of a teenage girl in the Hutt Valley says she fears her grand-daughter will end up on meth, following months without intervention by social workers. The woman, who cannot be identified under Family Court rules, says mental health workers, the police and school have made multiple notifications to Oranga Tamariki about the teenager, to no avail. This comes as Hutt Family Court lawyers warn of a backlog of serious cases the agency is failing to deal with. The concerns are such that a Hutt Family Court judge has already had his minutes sent directly to the chief executive of Oranga Tamariki three times this year, which lawyers say is very unusual. Oranga Tamariki says it's recruited new social workers to strengthen the office, which is working tirelessly to manage the issues. The grandmother says it is failing at its core job - which is, she told reporter Phil Pennington, to "look after our babies". Her voice has been altered to prevent identification.