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No Confidence In Maharey's CYFS Promises - ACT

Thursday 13th Jan 2000
Muriel Newman
Media Release -- Social Welfare

ACT Social Welfare Spokesman Dr Muriel today said she had no confidence in the Minister of Social Welfare's promises to protect the country's at risk children.

"CYFS alone cannot ensure the proper care and protection of the generation of children growing up neglected, abused and unloved," said Muriel Newman.

"What the CYFS briefing papers show is the impact on thousands of children of the deepening social crisis that is one of the greatest problems facing this country. Unless the government is prepared to tackle the root causes of that crisis, it will never have a social agency big enough to care for and protect all the children at risk.

"Steve Maharey in opposition was calling for an inquiry to pinpoint exactly where CYFS was failing and why. Now, as Minister, he is simply promising to throw more money at the problems. This is his second major u-turn as Minister.

"The thousands of children that come to the attention of CYFS are being failed by the parents and families who abuse and neglect them. Contrary to what the Minister is saying the solution is not about making New Zealand "family friendly" it's about making at risk families "child friendly".

"What is desperately needed is an integrated approach to child welfare to make an agency like CYFS an absolute last resort. The focus must shift from the ambulance at the bottom of the cliff to building the fence at the top. An integrated approach to child welfare should centre on early intervention and practical help for at risk children and their families from birth," said Muriel Newman.


For more information visit ACT online at http://www.act.org.nz or contact the ACT Parliamentary Office at act@parliament.govt.nz.

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