Wills on CYFS and kids

Outgoing Children’s Commissioner Dr Russell Wills has featured on Breakfast and Paul Henry this morning talking about what needs to be done to improve the care of children and the services of Child, Youth and Family.

NewsTalk ZB also covers this: Dr Russell Wills: Must listen to kids in CFYs care

The Children’s Commissioner said we need to know the meaning of “child-centred” if the new Child, Youth and Family system’s going to work.

Dr Russell Wills has today released his second New Zealand State of Care report – his final act in the role – it argues upcoming reforms don’t do enough to put children at the centre of CYF’s work.

He said child-centred literally means listening to the child – because that’s the only way we’ll ever actually meet their needs.

“The key thing that we want to see from Child Youth and Family for children in care is a much clearer idea – from the national office right the way down to the coalface – about what it means to be child-centred when looking after these children in care.”

He’s made three recommendations in the report, including getting a plan in place to reduce the risk of a dip in performance during the transition to the new Child, Youth and Family system.

“60,000 kids are going to come into contact with CYFs this year. These are the most vulnerable kids in our country, and we can’t afford a dip in performance for those kids.”

More people on the frontline of social work is being put forward as the solution to a possible drop in Child Youth and Family’s work.


“We have seen real change. I think the team have done a really good job [over the last 5 years]” Dr Russell Wills, Children’s Commissioner

Leave a comment


  1. Iceberg

     /  20th June 2016

    “We have seen real change. I think the team have done a really good job”

    If that wasn’t such a sick joke on all those killed in the last 5 years…

    We don’t need a children’s commissioner and we don’t need mealy mouthed phrases like “child-centred”. We need actual grown ups in charge. This year’s another 10,000 kids will be born into welfare. All of the future deaths will come from this cohort.

    • duperez

       /  20th June 2016

      When the actual grown ups are put in charge what should they do?

      Corky goes with “30 year jail sentences, castration and birth control”, Pickled Possum thinks there should be a fence at the top of the cliff and I don’t think by his other utterences over the years that Dr Wills believes that the absolute prime thing is to have an ambulance at the bottom of the cliff which is as flash and well-oiled as possible. Wills would rather there be no need for a Child Youth and Family service needing to handle the stuff they do.

      • Corky

         /  20th June 2016

        Correction to the above: Sterilization. both voluntary and forced.

        Within a generation CYF would have little to do.

        • duperez

           /  20th June 2016

          I couldn’t find a smiley emoji so I assume you’re serious. The hint from that is that you’re really getting into it boots and all and sorting the place out. Surprises me then that you haven’t suggested that we deport or sterilise Muslims too.

  2. Corky

     /  20th June 2016

    I’ll go with Christine Rankin who said we have one of the most generous welfare systems in the world and child abuse and lack of parental care is a problem created by parents.

    Wills is another ” The gov–ment must fix it with more aid.

    No, the gov-ment must fix it with 30 year jail sentences, castration and birth control.

    Just be listening to Leighton Smith read out an e-mail on the naiviety of New Zealanders and how we are continually being shafted by people and countries who don’t play nice.

    Wills is an example of that. He has a middleclass mindset that believes these people can be helped. Some can, most can’t.

  3. Maggy Wassilieff

     /  20th June 2016

    Babies and infants can’t articulate their needs clearly. Adults will always be speaking for the youngest ones in care.
    Something needs to change with the adults if these most vulnerable little ones are to flourish whilst under the care of the State.

  4. pickled possum

     /  20th June 2016

    russell wills said this on Tuesday, 31 May 2016
    “I’m the monitor of Child, Youth and Family, and Child, Youth and Family is going to change. It needs to change. The system’s broken, we’re not sorting these kids at all.”
    If he did so well, why then did he say this 20 days ago!!!!!

    Projecting 60 thousand at risk children will be coming into contact with CYFS this year!
    This makes my blood boil when it appears that CYFs is the ambo at the bottom of the cliff.

    What about fences at the top, like help for the young parents that have no family to advise them, to take the heavy load off these young children having babies. Would seem to me to be saving money and isn’t that what this society is all about now Saving the precious dollar?
    I have seen to many bad situations with babies having babies and not always through consensual sex … some rape victims having babies.
    Babies who end up looking like their rapist father, how they cope is mind blowing to me and how a percentage do not cope but keep the child and end up being violent to their child, this is unforgivable.
    If the Government want to play mother and father thru CYFs then Get it Right Please!!
    More Real people filling in the gaps where CYFS has no real resources or knowledge or even power to help these Lost Children of NZ.
    Before they become Grand Parents would be Great.

  5. David

     /  20th June 2016

    I have listened to many sycophantic interviews with Wills and you even get exasperation from National Radio at his total wetness, not once has he ever uttered that a parent should take some responsibility.
    I think the man had a huge opportunity and he wasted it at the expense of vulnerable children. Meanwhile the government ignored him and has implemented some pretty amazing programs that are delivering some great results. Lots more needs to be done.


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