25 Jun 2012

Review of CYF placements urged

7:53 am on 25 June 2012

There are calls for Child Youth & Family to ensure that every placement made under the youth justice system is safe and appropriate.

The department has apologised to a Taranaki woman who was sexually assaulted and infected with HIV, when she was 16, while in the care of her uncle, a convicted rapist.

The woman, now 27, was placed in CYF's care before she was sent to live with an uncle following a family conference in 2001.

She was sexually abused by him and raped by his friend, who has since died of AIDS.

Child Youth and Family says mandatory criminal checks were put in place earlier this year for such placements.

Green Party co-leader Metiria Turei says all such placements need to be reviewed, to ensure they are all suitable, and the woman should be offered compensation.

Before coming to Parliament, New Zealand First MP Asenati Lole Taylor worked for the Corrections Department and often dealt with young offenders.

Mrs Asenati says in her experience, background checks for youth offender placements are often rushed.

She says background checks are not always as thorough as they should be.