Four children are in foster care after the DOCS removed them from their grandparents’ care – story from The Australian is here.
Children are sometimes moved from one home to another after investigation by welfare services. The difference apparently in this case, reported to the Wood inquiry on child welfare and obtained by the newspaper, is that the grandmother smacked one child who was trying to climb into a drain. It is not mentioned if that was a regular occurrence.
Soon after the incident, DOCS case workers visited the children at school to interview them, as part of the process of making the placement with the grandparents permanent. “They said to the little one: do your grandparents ever hit you, or smack you? And of course he said: ‘Yes, she smacked me last week.’
“He was just telling the truth and it spiralled from there.”
The children were immediately removed from the grandparents’ home “and because they couldn’t find emergency carers to take all four of them, they were split up.
The grandparents appealed to the Administrative Decisions Tribunal and the case is now under review.
There is no comment from DOCS. Some webpage commenters have called the article a product of sensationalist and uninformed journalism. Others in the pro-smacking camp have used it as a forum. Most would say that a smack now and then didn’t hurt them when they were kids, but draw a line between the occasional smack, and a full-on flogging or constant smacking for no reason at all.