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Spotlight trained on CYFS after Howse verdict

Spotlight trained on CYFS after Howse verdict

The Government service set up to protect our children has failed miserably in the cases of 12 year old Saliel Aplin and her 11 year old sister Olympia Jetson, according to the National Party Social Services spokesperson.

“CYFS has been involved with this family for almost a decade, it beggars belief that a serious warning about child abuse was treated so lightly, “ says Katherine Rich.

She’s commenting in the wake of the guilty verdicts handed down against Bruce Howse in the High Court at Wellington.

“According to evidence presented in court a social worker dealing with the family failed to reply to phone calls in the critical fortnight leading up to the murders.

“On top of that a CYFS letter sent to the family was seen by Bruce Howse and there have been suggestions that may have contributed to the killings,” Katherine Rich says.

“And it’s hard to believe that even a photocopied page from one of the girls’ diaries alleging abuse, wasn’t enough to justify a personal visit by a social worker.

“In fact that diary note was apparently classified as ‘no urgency’ - I believe that’s outrageous,” says Katherine Rich.

“The Masterton community and the rest of New Zealand has had more than enough of child related tragedies and the public need to be assured they can have faith in CYFS.

“I welcome the CYFS inquiry and look forward to seeing the report, I also think it’s appropriate the Children’s Commissioner also investigate.

“We now have every right to expect a full explanation from CYFS telling us how they allowed such an obvious family time bomb to explode,” says Katherine Rich.

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