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CYF's blunders spark review

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 20/03/2017

Social Development Minister Anne Tolley has ordered a review of the case of a Wellington toddler where Child, Youth and Family repeatedly misinformed the Family Court the child's father was violent.

The father is suing CYF for more than $10,000 in court costs and to pay for therapy for his daughter after a judge ruled the agency's reports on him were unsubstantiated and unverified, RNZ reports.

The chief social worker would carry out a review of the case, Ms Tolley told reporters on Tuesday.

The father had written to the minister in 2015 saying she had been assured by CYF bosses that it had dealt with the case appropriately.

"It is really disturbing when they gave me advice consistently and I'm a bit cross about that," Ms Tolley said.

"I was assured on a number of occasions that a full investigation had taken place, but from what I can gather it's the same people having a look at what they've done and saying 'yep, we've done it all OK'.

"That's not really a full review and that's not getting an independent oversight."

In a statement, CYF central regional director Karen Hocking says they have acknowledged investigation inaccuracies and she believes the father should seek a review by CYF's chief executive's advisory panel.

"This is a complex and challenging family situation where the custody and care arrangements for the children have been contested by their parents since they separated some years ago," she said in a statement.

"This is some of the most challenging work that we do; when parents are not working together, establishing the facts takes time, and is not always successful."

While the chief social worker carried out a review of the case, CYF would not comment further.

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