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Vulnerable teen put up alone in hotel

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 21/04/2017

Labour says it's "just plain wrong" for a teenager with mental health needs to be living alone in a Dunedin hotel because of a shortage of beds in care facilities.

NZME reports the 16-year-old boy's mother contacted the Herald newspaper because she feared her son, who attempted to commit suicide two weeks ago, could be a danger to himself and those around him.

The Ministry for Vulnerable Children said placing the boy in the hotel was a last resort.

Labour's spokeswoman for children, Jacinda Ardern, says it isn't a one-off situation.

"This is an issue we raised six months ago, I heard in October last year that children in care were being placed in hotels," she said.

"It's just plain wrong... to place a young person who has such high mental health needs in such a vulnerable situation is unfathomable."

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