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CYFS report chance to get NGOs helping families

Media Statement For immediate release Thursday, 23 October, 2003

Turner: CYFS report chance to get NGOs helping families

Today's baseline report on CYFS opens the door for NGOs to pick up on areas of social work that CYFS has done poorly or often not at all, United Future's Judy Turner says.

"It is a very good report, and key among it recommendations is that CYFS focus on the safety and security of children - an excellent idea," Mrs Turner, the party's child and family affairs spokeswoman, said.

"CYFS should work with organisations in the community that can get to families and make a real difference - and complement the safety and security focus by helping make troubled families safe and secure, so children can be returned after the minimum time.

"That doesn't happen today. CYFS intervention is quite often disastrous for children and families," Mrs Turner, United Future's child and family affairs spokeswoman, said.

"This is a good report, and if it targets CYFS on achievable goals, and plays a part in its social workers - many of them very good, capable people - having more specific job descriptions, then it will have done a very good job.

"It encourages more realistic expectations of CYFS, and with the additional funding it can actually begin to do its job," she said.

"We've had a lot of talk and a very thorough report, so now it's time to see some results."

United Future is working on policy in this area, Mrs Turner said, which would include a restructured approach to the co-operation between care and protection services and family-focused community organisations.

"We would welcome the opportunity to work with the Government to bring about changes urgently needed in this area," she said.


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