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One CYF statistic too far

One CYF statistic too far

"Our most vulnerable children are paying a heavy price for the Government's reluctance to make positive changes at Child Youth and Family," according to National Party Welfare Spokesperson Katherine Rich. "This is Steve Maharey's fourth year of saying 'it's not good enough', but after that length of time, Kiwis are saying the Government's management of CYF is not good enough! Katherine Rich is commenting on papers that show it took the Department 621 days to investigate an 'urgent' notification.

"That's appalling!

"As Judge Mick Brown pointed out years ago 'low level cases can escalate'.

When conducting his investigation he was told 'Low-level abuse, including emotional abuse, over time increases the trauma to the child. Addressing this later will take more resources than when an earlier investigation is made.'

"Will New Zealand's children ever see any improvement?

"Will the Minister back his rhetoric with real action or progress?

"You can be sure Steve Maharey would have been quick to pass the buck if that 'urgent case' had turned out to be another Delcelia Witika or a James Whakaruru," says Katherine Rich Recommendation 4.1 of Judge Mick Brown's report was crystal clear: 'That funding and resources be concentrated on reducing the number of cases unallocated by the time set for a response, to zero within the next six months and that provision be made to ensure that response remains at zero.' "In December 2000 the Minister endorsed the report and signed up to its recommendations.

"Since then we've seen more reviews, another 'blueprint' and an Agenda for Children, but still there are no basic changes to the problem of most concern - CYF response times! "Steve Maharey's run out of time to simply say "it's not good enough"

"After four years we all agree - but it's time he did something about it," Katherine Rich says.

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