“Today’s report from the Abuse in Care Royal Commission is difficult reading, but it highlights the importance of fixing the institutions that care for our young people,” says ACT’s Spokesperson for Children Karen Chhour.
“Reading these stories, you can hear the pain and sorrow that these people are still feeling even now. It takes real bravery for people to tell their stories, and I would like to thank them for doing so.
“The common theme of the report is that no one listened to these children at the time, there was no-one to speak up for them, no one to advocate.
“That is why ACT will redevelop the social worker roles within the Oranga Tamariki system, including developing a mentor role that will support children throughout their care journey and a Child Protection Officer role to focus on statutory matters and enforcement.
“While many people who suffered abuse were able to build a good life for themselves, many were not. ACT wants organisations that care for our young people to be made more accountable for the mistakes they make, given the lifelong impact their mistakes can have.
“ACT will enable a system of devolution coupled with clear measures of accountability, all the way up to the Oranga Tamariki Chief Executive.
“We also need to be more vigilant when it comes to Oranga Tamariki’s hiring and training practices, because the young people being cared for are our future.
“Apologies mean nothing if this abuse is still happening, so we need to be making sure that this sort of abuse does not happen. This requires the sort of real change in our institutions that ACT is advocating, to develop a child-centred approach toward the care of children by the state."