Anne Tolley MP
National Party Associate Welfare (CYF) Spokeswoman
13 August 2007
Labour continues to pass-the-parcel with vulnerable kids
A year after the Labour Government promised action over the number of children being shunted from foster home to foster home, the situation remains very serious, says National's Associate Welfare spokeswoman Anne Tolley.
She is releasing figures which show that 1,038 children - including 111 babies -have been moved in and out of foster care at least three times over the past year.
"One six-year-old girl in Taranaki changed homes nine times, and an 11-year-old boy in Christchurch was passed around 11 times.
"That's almost a new home every month."
Mrs Tolley says the figures are truly disturbing.
"Every parent knows about the importance of routine in a child's life and this is even more critical for babies.
"Moving children around multiple times is dreadfully damaging.
"Children, from a very young age, do better when there is consistency around every aspect of their life, and parenting is the most important.
"CYF Minister Ruth Dyson said at the Social Services Select Committee estimates hearing in May that these movements were not the result of a foster parent shortage, nor were they caused by a lack of resources.
"If that's true, then these children are suffering as a result of this Labour Government's policy failure."