18 Jul 2012

CYF lacking data for policymakers - Judge

10:03 pm on 18 July 2012

A former Youth Court judge says Child, Youth and Family is a long way from having the data policymakers need to make good decisions about the future of foster care.

CYF records are under scrutiny after Social Development Minister Paula Bennett admitted on Tuesday the agency does not keep a centralised record of children abused in its care.

Judge Carolyn Henwood says she is on a mission to get better outcomes from foster care, but more robust recording systems are needed to make that happen.

Judge Henwood says CYF social workers should be noting the reasons for putting a child in a certain home.

She says if the expectations for each child are not recorded, the next social worker won't know what is happening.

Labour says CYF doesn't have resources

The Labour Party says CYF is being put under huge pressure and doesn't have the resources to cope.

Social development spokesperson Jacinda Ardern says the lack of records is symptomatic of the lack of funding.

Ms Ardern says there has been an increase of more than 100% in the number of child protection notices to CYF but the number of social workers has not been boosted to match.

She says that will lead to children falling though the cracks.

Ms Ardern says CYF has a potential crisis on its hands and the Government needs to do more to boost the agency's resources.