Thursday, August 24, 2006

Riding crop mum's religious beliefs challenged by a harrassing CYFS

The woman who disciplined her son with a riding crop has religious beliefs, and although that is no more a crime than smacking in this country, Child Youth and Family do not like parents who are willing to physically discipline their children within the law due to their religious beliefs. Because this woman does have these beliefs, CYFS is attempting to take her daughter away from her and are trying very hard to look for abuse when there is none and are requesting that the womans daughter be assessed for physical abuse.

An abusive CYFS document the woman e-mailed to Big News and entitled "goals and objectives to be achieved" describes her her parenting style as "entrenched" in her religion, consequently asking " what is her ability and willingness to change", and questioning " whether the girl should be "living in an environment supportive of her mothers views and beliefs"? It also asks why social workers cant see the girl on her own, despite our laws stating a support person can be in attendanace. Perhaps CYFS social workers want to get an admission from the girl that even faintly sounds like she has been abused - and then rush back off to court.

This is outrageous. It implies that the state considers there is something wrong with parents who have religious beliefs, and if it wasn't for these religious beliefs everything will be okay. Such letters and documents from the state breach our human rights legislation.

The woman says
I am disgusted at this ongoing harassment.I have been told they are deliberately making things difficult for me because I have gone to the media. My daughter is so stressed by the threat of removal she cannot sleep properly any more. My lawyer...says this is totally unnecessary harrassment. The department has told me if i do not agree to this assesment then they will remove my daughter.

The CYFS document asks where the girl gets her sense of identy and security from. She gets it at home with her mum where she belongs, that's where. CYFS want to take that identity and security away from her. The document asks, " how can we build trust into our relationship with Mrs ................, so that ( her daughter) will disclose any abuse in the home."

The answer: Back off - and don't look for abuse when there is none.


Anonymous said...

I'd refer you to the Re V decision. Under the Bill of Rights Act, human rights are not absolute, and yes, sometimes, religious freedom can be restricted if it clashes with the rights of others.

As a neopagan, I might feel that genetically modified crops are morally wrong, but that doesn't give me immunity from prosecution if I vandalise a GM crop plot.

Craig Y.

Murray said...

The NZ Bill of rights act is not be used to circumvent other existing laws.

Please tell me which law being a Christian with Christian values she is violating.

I also point out to you that she has not been found to have assaulted anyone by a court already so don't even think about trying that on.

It is NOT illegal to use physical disciplin in NZ. So tell me why is her faith being attacked in this manner?

Anonymous said...

I couldn't agree more.Having had some experience in dealing with this department, now ministry. I have found they are destructive to families. They do not investigate situation properly, they influence family members into thinking their way and strengthening families is just a joke.I have found and proved neglect, lies, fabrication of evidence and abuse under their care. They are a law unto themselves with as many internal unwritten policies that if written down could keep a forest alive for years. They have more power than the courts to determine where your and whom your children live. If they get an idea in their head, because they are an official govt agency, they are trusted more than any innocent person. It is a shame that society feels that they are a respected and to be trusted organisation as to date I have yet to find any innocent person that can say that they were treated with any modicum of respect or professionalism by them. I appreciate that investigations need to be done and that in some cases there is genuine need for intervention, but in a lot of cases it is statistics and arrogance that keep them going.
Have a thought. If you see a child in need of care, you would think first that CYFS should be involved and notified as that is what we are all told to do at preschool etc, who do you go to when CYFS are the ones neglecting and abusing the child. Of this I have personal knowledge where the child is now almost deaf from CYFS not caring for the child and other medical issues never taken care of.

Anonymous said...

I would also like to comment that a family who with respect and calmness discipline their child and that the child understands why this is happeneing that is not abuse as long as the discipline is appropriate.
If you had whacked your child on the buttocks with a wooden or plastic spoon, most people would have laughed it off, this however could have caused a lot more damage that a quick sting as was administered. Knowing this family and how happy and balanced they are, CYFS are in the wrong with their continual harrassment of them. Their daughter is very happy in her home and is distressed that the threat is always there to be removed. There certainly is no abuse demonstrated and their christian beliefs are well balanced. They do not use christianity as a crutch but use the principles of the Bible in their living to provide a good friendly, caring home. Maybe if more of society lived by true christian ways then society would not be as corrupt or destructive to their families.

Anonymous said...

Don't you mean being an evangelical or fundamentalist, as not all Christians support belting kids?

Sorry, but religious freedom should not be confused with the more radical concept of religious 'liberty,' which appears to mean that those who are religious can take all the liberties that they want with everyone else...

As I said look at Re V. Parents 'rights' are not absolute in terms of religious freedom if they conflict with the best interests of the child- in that case, it was two Jehovahs Witnesses who were denying their child a life-saving blood transfusion.

Craig Y.

Anonymous said...

I never said that I support belting kids and many other alternatives are out there. However if you have a child that would push the boundaries so much that your life was at risk or harm to them selves then maybe a restrained type of physical discipline is called for.Especially if it makes the difference and the child realises that it has crossed that boundary of appropriate behaviour. Whether you are a christian or not does not make the difference. However by following the principles of the bible, history has shown us that there is a good balance for life. Read your Proverbs they may assist you. If Christianity wasn't the way to go then why is it that Christianity groups are the ones that repeatedly assist the community to get better.

Dave said...

Craig, based on what you know about this case, how are the best interests of the child given appropriate weight over the bullying tactics of CYFS which are more in the interests of CYFS managers than any consideration of the childs wishes and interests. Im aware of Re V Parents - unlike CYFS nobody told these parents what to believe, unlike CYFS nobody told those parents they were breaking the law when they were not.

Anonymous said...

This is typical of current attitudes of people who just plain hate christianity nd want to destroy it. Many good well-meaning christian people who have common sense are just lumped into the 'crazy fundie' category. I have no trouble beleiving that the CYFS secret police are biased against christian people. By the way, I grew up in a secular family and got some pretty good hidings from the old lady and once from the old man for a serious break-in incident when I was 12. I respect them to this day for what they done and have never lead a life of crime or anything that would undermine the communities where i have lived. ie. i learnt my lesson young from elders whom i respected. Take a good look around at kids attitudes these days, you just can't help but feel a sense of hopelessness for the future.

Murray said...

Craig you have no chosen to chacterise a Christian as "evangelical or fundamentalist" with no evidence to support your acusation. You have also failed to respond to the question put to you.

What law do you claim they have broken?

If you were to claim that they were fundamentalist Muslims therefore not fit to be parents your feet wouldn;t touch the ground.

I see no reason to cut you any slack because you think it's ok to attack Christians in this country. Helen Clark doing it doesn't make it right.