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Ed Sheeran

Loss of whakapapa link alarms psychotherapists

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Psychotherapists want a rethink on changes to child welfare services so that whakapapa connections can be preserved.

Child Youth and Family is being replaced with a Ministry for Vulnerable Children, and the enabling legislation has dropped the priority that Maori babies and children be placed with whanau, hapu and iwi where possible.

Lynne Holdem from the New Zealand Association of Psychotherapists says that’s a step back to the 1960s when Maori babies were placed with Pakeha families who in some cases told the children they were Spanish.

She says a weakness in the current system is that aunts, uncles and grandparents who are requested to take in children of their whanau and hapu are not given the help they need to settle them into a new family.

Also missing are the skilled practitioners to assess parenting capacity in new carers, or the resources and practitioners to support foster and adoptive carers once they've taken on new children.

Copyright © 2016, UMA Broadcasting Ltd:

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