A Stoke grandmother is relieved her young grandson has been taken away from the boys’ mother and says “we are not sending him back to that crap” following serious concerns for the boys’ safety and well-being.
The grandmother approached the Waimea Weekly last Wednesday desperate to get her nine-year-old grandson away from the boy’s mother and her partner who had been living in a “disgusting” faeces-ridden flat in Richmond.
The grandmother, who does not wish to be named, says she has been worried about her grandson’s well-being for some time and had contacted Child Youth and Family (CYF) about the situation. Although she says the Richmond flat was disgusting, with rubbish, human faeces and drug paraphernalia throughout the house, she claims CYF failed to do anything to help.
But this week the grandmother’s family took the initiative when they went to her grandson’s new home in Nelson and removed the boy. She says they have contacted their lawyer and are hoping to obtain a court order to gain permanent custody of the boy.
“The grandfather went around to see my grandson at this new place which CYF says is okay but that has nine people squashed in,” she says. “My grandson was really upset and she [the mother] was bawling with a bleeding nose and she begged the grandfather to take the boy because he was so upset.
“So we have got him and we are not giving him back. CYF have gone down there [to the mother’s new rental] and had a look and said “yes, this is fine send him back” but our lawyer has said “no don’t send him back” so hopefully we’ll get a court order through today saying we’ll get custody.
“We are not backing out now. We are not sending him back to that crap. No kid deserves that.”
CYF spokesperson Helen Aiken says they had conducted an assessment of the boy’s family but acknowledged on Tuesday that they had got it wrong and she apologised on the agency’s behalf.
“While Child, Youth and Family was involved in an assessment of this family we have not done a good enough job.
“The photos prove our assessment has been poor. I apologise for that.”
Helen says CYF workers had since visited the family in their new residence and would continue monitoring them closely to ensure their safety and well-being.
“We are also following up with staff to see how we got it wrong in assessing this family.”