It is concerning that extremely vulnerable young people are being housed in motels instead of specialised care facilities – the Children’s Commissioner says.
The ministry said using accommodation such as motels was a last resort but those working at the coal face said the lack of proper facilities was a major issue.
Children’s Commissioner Judge Andrew Becroft said about 100 young people – mostly boys – had the most challenging complex and at times dangerous behaviour – but there was no expert care available for them.
He saw one or two cases a week where vulnerable children were being placed in inappropriate care he said.
‘There are significant concerns – they are long-standing – it’s not a new issue.
As at now we know of three or four serious individual issues where the appropriate care is a real issue – it’s not able to be provided’.
Judge Becroft said recent highly-publicised cases included an intellectually disabled teenager in Christchurch – who was heavily sedated in a mental health unit because there was nowhere else for him to go.