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Putting the child's interests first

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What is best for the child?

That is the primary - some say the only - question that needs to be asked when it comes to assessing the wellbeing of a young New Zealander and whether state intervention is required.

It seems like such an easy question to answer. If a child is better off being removed from a home or a family, for any serious welfare concern, so be it. State care does not have a glorious history, it must be acknowledged, but when the alternative is a life of misery or squalor, when a child's life could be significantly endangered, there are sometimes no compelling alternatives.

Realistically, though, this is not an issue with easy answers. It is complicated, with large areas of greyness, despite every adult's desire to see it in black and white.

So it is with the ongoing story of Oranga Tamariki's attempt to remove a week-old baby from a young mother in Hawke's Bay Hospital, and the intensive aftermath of that incident.

Oranga Tamariki........

© Otago Daily Times