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Cash Band-Aid Won't Heal CYF

Cash Band-Aid Won't Heal CYF

Reports that recently convicted RSA murderer William Duane Bell was a ward of the State from the age of eight, highlights the fact that there are serious flaws in our Social Welfare system, ACT New Zealand Social Welfare Spokesman Dr Muriel Newman said today.

"With child abuse notifications, and unallocated cases, rising to epidemic proportions, record numbers of children are being taken into CYF care. History has shown that many such children have become permanently damaged and end up in prison," Dr Newman said.

"While such long-term, serious problems warrant long-term strategies, the Government believes the answer is to throw money at them, hoping they will go away. Mr Maharey's announcement that CYF will receive an additional $12 million - just weeks after the agency came under scrutiny for its involvement in the lives of murdered girls Olympia Jetson and Saliel Aplin - is evidence of this. Cases such as these show that, rather than going away, these problems continue to grow.

"Band-aid solutions are not the answer. This is highlighted by claims that CYF workers must compromise professional standards due to unmanageable workloads," Dr Newman said.

"Calls for long-term planning are not new, yet the Government continually fails to deliver. ACT believes that until Government addresses the underlying causes of increasing child abuse - family breakdown and long-term dependency - there will be more crises, damaged children and more serious, violent crime," Dr Newman said.

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