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Extra social workers to reduce unallocated cases

13 March 2001 Media Statement

Extra social workers to reduce Hamilton unallocated cases

Six new social workers are to be taken on in Hamilton to assist Child, Youth and Family to tackle its backlog of unallocated cases, Social Services and Employment Minister Steve Maharey announced today.

Funding has been provided to enable the Department to take on two new permanent staff in the Hamilton office. In addition agreements have been concluded with Parentline, the Salvation Army and Maatua Whangai which will see four staff employed by the Department for four days per week from 19 March to 30 June 2001. The four social workers will continue to work one day a week for their usual employer.

Mr Maharey said that with increased staffing the Department was confident it would be able to turn around the current backlog of unallocated cases in Hamilton.

“I’m extremely pleased that by working together Child, Youth and Family and community groups will be able to get on top of the unallocated cases in Hamilton. The new agreement builds on the additional $705,000 provided to Hamilton office last December to meet heavier than expected demand for care services.

“Under law only Child, Youth and Family social workers can undertake statutory social work duties. The Government agrees that the prohibition on community organisations undertaking statutory social work is appropriate and we are not contemplating contracting out those functions.

"The agreement reached in Hamilton enables Child, Youth and Family to employ new permanent social workers and to formally employ seconded staff from local organisations to assist it to clear the unacceptably high backlog of cases which have grown over the last year," Steve Maharey said.

Mr Maharey said he appreciated the support received from local MPs Martin Gallagher and Di Yates in concluding the agreements. Mr Maharey and Mr Gallagher visited Child, Youth and Family Hamilton staff on Friday to discuss the arrangement.


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