• Roger Sowry
Social Welfare

The Minister of Social Welfare, Hon. Roger Sowry is furious at the publicity targeted at CYPFS family homes by the Labour party and some media and the effect it is having on children living in these homes.

These children are vulnerable with behaviours that require careful management by their caregiver.

They have a right to privacy as much as anyone else, says Mr Sowry. Having television cameras and reporters camped outside their home results in stress and tension in the home.

This type of disruption causes a huge setback in the young persons rehabilitation, destroying confidence and further eroding self-esteem. In one case a child who was making good progress had to be transferred to another residence, which in the opinion of the Department has set his progress back.

Our CYPFS staff in Christchurch are spending their valuable time dealing with the media at the moment which is taking their attention away from protecting other children in unsafe situations, Mr Sowry says.

Mr Sowry draws Annette Kings attention to the fact that in 1989 the then Labour Government enacted the CYPF Act which made far reaching reforms.

This Act was the result of years of research which clearly indicated that locking children up was totally ineffective in dealing with young offenders and abusers.

Programmes currently offered by the Department of Social Welfare focus on community involvement and rehabilitation through a family environment, Mr Sowry says.