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Govt ignores report that criticises agencies

Govt ignores report that criticises agencies

National says the Government writing off a report which finds its agencies failed to help at-risk children, will leave more children unable to get the help and support they need.

The report, by Celia Lashlie, commissioned by Special Education Services, finds that breakdowns between Government agencies left at-risk children and their families unable to get help.

"The Ministry of Education writes it off as "limited in its scope" and the "perceptions of a small sample of people" because it simply doesn't want to accept the breakdowns between agencies it identifies," says National Social Services Spokesperson Katherine Rich.

"Celia Lashlie has worked with behaviourally challenged children over many years. That's why the Ministry hired her to write this report. Because it criticises them they slate her study.

"The Ministry should be concerned about teachers' comments that neither it nor the Child Youth and Family Service (CYFS) went out of their way to help children in need, that at-risk children were refused entry to schools and that funding issues meant organisations hesitated from helping at-risk children.

"While the Ministry says it has facilitated regular exchanges of information between it and CYFS since the report was commissioned, there is nothing to say the problems identified have gone away. Instead it is being irresponsible by sidestepping the most important issues raised in the report that many children are still at risk.

"This is just like the Government ignoring John Tamihere's concerns regarding welfare, Mick Brown's report CYFS, and the Hunn report on defence, because the issues are too hard to tackle. Celia Lashlie has worked at the coalface. She knows the problems but the issues she has raised have simply gone into the Government's too hard basket," Mrs Rich said.

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