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National says target CYF, not parents


National says target CYF, not parents

National Party Leader Bill English says the Government's lost all sense of priority in dealing with the growing problem of child abuse and neglect.

"Labour should scrap its $11.8 million smacking education campaign and apply the money to Child, Youth and Family Services, overburdened with serious staff shortages and record case numbers.

"The admission by CYF that Ron Burrows' call about daughter Coral earlier this year was ignored is tragic proof that the service is struggling," says Mr English.

"A four-year, multi-million dollar campaign telling parents not to smack their children isn't giving CYF the resources it needs, or training and retaining its social workers."

Mr English says the Government must shift its focus from the smacking law to protecting children in far greater danger of abuse and neglect.

"Labour should save its dollars and effort for children in real need.

"This appears to be the view of many New Zealanders, too, with a weekend poll showing that nearly 70% of people think the current smacking law is adequate.

"As with the $6 million Treaty education campaign, Labour's wasting money trying to force its views on people, rather than working out what's really needed.

"With child abuse and neglect at an all time-high and 1780 cases awaiting allocation at CYF, it's not hard to see where the priority should lie," says Mr English.

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