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Maharey Failed, Will Dyson Succeed?

Maharey Failed, Will Dyson Succeed?

ACT New Zealand Social Welfare Spokesman Dr Muriel Newman today slammed Child, Youth and Family for its woefully inadequate management of vulnerable children, in the wake of reports that a further five teenage girls in its care are engaging in prostitution.

"CYF is the government agency of last resort, and there is a high expectation that children in its care are managed and supervised in a secure fashion. Instead, however, they are running wild, and engaging in destructive, damaging behaviour," Dr Newman said.

"This is totally unacceptable. Ten 13-16 year-olds were found to be involved in prostitution while in CYF care - now a further five have been discovered. This raises serious questions about the department's ability to manage these children. They may well be just the tip of the iceberg.

"This situation shows that current CYF methods are not working. By taking children into care, and then failing to adequately care for them, the agency is effectively throwing these young people a lifeline - then dragging it back before they can reach it.

"I am calling on Minister Ruth Dyson to tell the public exactly what she plans to do to ensure that this sort of behaviour does not continue. Given the very serious nature of these girls' actions, Ms Dyson must address this situation immediately, and prove that she is not as incompetent as her predecessor," Dr Newman said.

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