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Govt's 'Fiddling' With CYFS Not Enough

"CYFS recently admitted to the Social Services Select Committee that offices servicing over half of all CYFS clients are now under extreme pressure. But in reality, those offices are in crisis - with an increasing number of social workers leaving every day," Hamilton based National MP Bob Simcock said today.

"Tariana Turia recently assured Parliament that the steps taken to support the Hamilton office would resolve their problems. But subsequent to that reassurance the Hamilton Care and Protection Panel has written to the Minister of Social Services saying the Government's response has been totally inadequate.

"The Government is fiddling while CYFS burns.

"Today, CYFS has announced a middle-management reshuffle and the Minister is likely to confirm some extra funding for foster beds.

"But none of those responses even begin to deal with the pressures that are driving experienced social workers to tears.

"The key problem at CYFS is that the last Budget said the number of notifications would go down - when everyone in touch with the frontline knew they were already going up. That Budget forecast was used to justify no new money being given to strengthen frontline care and protection services.

"With this Government there is a lot of money for 'building capacity' in Maori communities, but no money to protect kids who are being beaten to death.

"Their priorities are all wrong!" Bob Simcock said.

Ends




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