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Ed Sheeran

Kin care best for children
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Children's Commissioner Andrew Becroft has welcomed a rethink on kin care in the new child, youth and family legislation.

Social Development Minister Anne Tolley has indicated the priority could remain for Maori children and young people in state care to be placed with members of their extended whanau, hapu or iwi.

Judge Becroft says that policy was introduced as part of the Puao o te Ata Tu report of 30 years ago, looking at why so many Maori children were in state institutions.

That raised concern that generations of Maori children were being dislocated form their backgrounds and culture.

"We made real progress in the last 30 years and I think rightly many were very concerned (about the proposed change). All the international evidence, all that we know is that kin care works best and it's utterly consistent with the treaty and if we are serious about a bicultural model there has to be a clear commitment to that principle," Judge Becroft says.

He says the bill has many positive features, including extending the age of care and making it clear children must participate in decisions about their care.

FULL INTERVIEW WITH ANDREW BECROFT

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