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CYFs forces 17 year olds out onto the streets - Lole-Taylor

Contributor:
Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

The Government needs to explain the inconsistent policies that mean young people in CYFS care are told to fend for themselves as soon as they turn 17 years old, says New Zealand First social policy spokesperson Asenati Lole-Taylor.

The Social Services Select Committee has held hearings this week on the Vulnerable Children Bill which has exposed the inconsistent nature of Minister Bennett’s department.

"We heard from one young man who was living in CYFS care. The moment he turned 17, he was essentially told that he was on his own.

"This was despite the fact that he was still in school, it was exam time and he was still too young to be able to sign a tenancy agreement, or even eligible to vote.

"These are vulnerable young people - that’s why they ended up in CYFS care to begin with - and to be told on their 17th birthday by the Government that they will no longer be looked after and they are now on their own is a cruel blow.

"This policy is essentially setting these young people up to fail.

"The Government spouts a lot of rhetoric around the safety and wellbeing of vulnerable young people, yet they are willing to wash their hands of them at 17, with little or no support, and expect them to cope.

"This is a disgrace, and this practice urgently needs to be stopped.

"These young people should be guided and mentored by responsible adults", says Mrs Lole-Taylor.

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