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CYFS Needs Reform Now

2 July 2002

The care and protection community for children needs to see some rapid change, according to National's spokesperson on Social Services Bob Simcock, who addressed a UNICEF conference on violence towards children yesterday.

"It is nearly two years since Mick Brown's report into CYFS and all we have seen since is talk, promises and more talk. It is time for some action.

"Children who are placed in care are still left to drift in and out of care for years until they end up in the courts. Foster-carers are increasingly hard to find and yet those that are there continue to be abused. Children are being dumped onto Grandparents and other family members so CYFS can close cases. But the families then carry all the cost of repairing the damage to those children, as well as the cost of defending their guardianship in court.

"National will move quickly to pay competent non-Government agencies to make sure children get the help they need quickly.

"No child will be allowed to drift in care for over two years. When children are put into care CYFS will be required to re-establish them with their families or with another permanent family within two years.

"We will ensure that foster-carers are given the financial and professional support they need, and that they are treated as partners in the care process.

"National will assist Grandparents and other family-carers to pay for the cost of rehabilitating children, and we will protect their guardianship from constant frivolous legal attack.

"Consultation is important but consultation has become an excuse for inaction by the current Government. If we don't move quickly Mick Brown's efforts will be just another wasted report," said Mr Simcock.


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