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Minister Fails CYF, CYF Fails Children

Minister Fails CYF, CYF Fails Children

Friday 17 Oct 2003 Dr Muriel Newman Press Releases -- Social Welfare

ACT New Zealand Social Welfare Spokesman Dr Muriel Newman today demanded that Labour address the problems plaguing CYF, in light of new information showing the department currently has 85,982 children recorded as having a client number.

"Answers to my written Parliamentary Questions have revealed that, as of June 2003, there were 85,982 children recorded as having a client number with CYF - and that 20,000 of these were open cases," Dr Newman said.

"Meanwhile, CYF's annual report yesterday stated a 17.5 percent increase in overall social work staff turnover. There are fewer social workers left to deal with rising numbers of children. Yet Social services and Employment Minister Steve Maharey still denies that CYF is failing.

"Mr Maharey gives us endless rhetoric about creating a new culture at CYF while, at the same time, more and more staff leave and the number of open cases skyrockets 89 percent - from 13,206 in 2000, to 24,895 in 2003.

"New Zealanders are demanding answers, but Labour has none. ACT does. CYF is out-dated and cannot cope with our rising child abuse figures. The department must be re-built and link police, welfare, health, and education.

"Only when we have such a community-based, one-stop child welfare shop will CYF be able to recruit and retain experienced qualified staff. It is time Labour realised that the current CYF model is obsolete, and began protecting our vulnerable children," Dr Newman said.

ENDS


For more information visit ACT online at http://www.act.org.nz or contact the ACT Parliamentary Office at act@parliament.govt.nz.

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