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Thursday, August 12

Support foster parents and single parents

Extra support for foster parents is the right attitude, and one John Key’s Government could extend to single parents, the Green Party said today.

The announcement today of the ‘Home for Life’ package aimed at supporting foster families who provide permanent care for children in Child Youth and Family custody, showed a willingness to help some of New Zealand’s most vulnerable children but not others, said Green Party Co-leader Metiria Turei.

“A stable home life is essential for kids, and this package will help foster families provide that stability,” Mrs Turei said.

“But at the same time, Paula Bennett is taking away family stability from some single parents and their children with her Future Focus Bill.

“The Minister will force some parents to leave children home alone or with poor supervision, while they chase non-existent jobs. The different approach to foster parents and single parents makes no sense. Surely we want to give every family a chance, because if we guarantee the essentials, we guarantee opportunities.”

Mrs Turei noted that extending parental leave to foster parents would also be a positive step.

“The time to develop a strong bond with a fostered child is an important part of making the fostering relationship succeed and paid parental leave would help with that,” Mrs Turei said.

The lives of children and families could best be improved through Government policies that delivered jobs, decent housing and a living wage for everyone, according to Mrs Turei.