26 Jun 2015

Maori children spend longer in foster care

6:22 am on 26 June 2015

An anti-violence community agency in West Auckland says Maori children tend to stay longer in foster care because it is difficult to find the right cultural match for them.

The manager of Waitakere Anti-Violence Essential Services (WAVES) said although children thrive when they first arrive in care, long-term stays did not produce good outcomes.

Tiaria Fletcher said there were significant resource issues.

"Our Maori children, in my experience in foster care, tend to linger longer in foster care.

"Child, Youth and Family, their role is to go out and consult with whanau, hapu, iwi, so to try and find a cultural placement that meets the needs of these children.

"But that is very difficult work, it's very complex work, and it's not done quickly."

Ms Fletcher said many of the Maori living locally were not from west Auckland, but were from further north.

She said there were generations of whanau raised in west Auckland who had lost their connection with their place of origin.

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