A petition has been launched by Labour MP Jacinda Ardern on the issue of child protection:
Currently, child protection law means a young person leaves CYFS care at 17, but other state support, like housing and student allowances, doesn’t start until age 18. This means a young person who has been in foster care or a CYFs residence is suddenly left to fend for themselves. For some this means becoming homeless – for others, it can get even worse.
The government is leaving these young people out in the cold.
This isn’t right. But we have a chance to change this right now.
The government is reviewing this part of our child protection laws. If enough of us sign a petition telling the government to raise the child protection age, the minister responsible, Anne Tolley, will be forced to listen to us or face a backlash as hundreds of Kiwi kids are left without any support every year.
Kellie was one of those children.
“Leaving care for me was especially stressful because my birthday is in November, right in the middle of NCEA exams. Thinking back now I remember it was a period filled with confusion and frustration. I wasn’t sure whether I would continue to live with the same foster parents as I had or move to another, or whether I had to move out. No 17 year old should ever have to worry about these issues.” – Kellie
Seventeen is too young to have to fend for yourself without any support. All Kiwi kids deserve to be looked after until they are old enough to support themselves. Click here to sign the petition.