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CYFS Review Merits Cautious Optimism

Media Release
23 October 2003

CYFS Review Merits Cautious Optimism

New Zealand First has described the findings of the review of Child, Youth and Family as worthy of cautious optimism.

“A picture has long been emerging of a service that lacks direction, that struggles under the weight of huge public expectations, that suffers serious systemic failures, that cannot retain its workforce, and does not have the systems in place to meet the increasing demand for its services,” said Family Affairs spokeswoman Barbara Stewart.

“Labour cannot blame previous administrations for CYF’s performance over the last four years. After four years in Government Minister for Social Development Maharey and the multitude of other ministers with varying degrees of responsibility have not demonstrated the political will to address the steadily increasing gap between the demand for services and CYF’s ability to meet this demand.”

“We now have a review which clearly illustrates where CYFs needs to improve its service delivery and a strategy to enable this to occur, said Mrs Stewart.

“The Minister also acknowledges that protecting children and young people is a broad community responsibility and that CYF needs the support of the wider social services sector and the youth justice system. This is a step in the right direction towards developing a comprehensive care and protection system which involves other government departments with responsibility for children and young persons.

“Unfortunately state intervention has become necessary in the lives of an increasing number of our children and the existence of a dedicated and efficient department, staffed by people who are not struggling with enormous workloads and a lack of resources, offers our best chance of making that intervention effective, said Mrs Stewart.

ENDS

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