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Numbers Highlight CYF Failure

Numbers Highlight CYF Failure

On the eve of the release of the report into the murder of Saliel Aplin and Olympia Jetson, ACT New Zealand Social Welfare Spokesman Dr Muriel Newman today expressed shock at the 31 percent increase in the number of cases referred to CYF that require further investigation.

"Answers to my written Parliamentary Questions have revealed a staggering 2,760 cases of potential child abuse that require further investigation by CYF as of the end of September 2003," Dr Newman said.

"This is an increase of 31 percent since January this year. Of these 2,760 cases: 260 have been classified as `critical', 115 are `very urgent', and a massive 1,673 are `urgent cases' which should be investigated within a week. There are also 712 cases which are classified as `low urgent'.

"It is completely unacceptable that the Government agency charged with the protection of New Zealand's most vulnerable children has been unable to investigate so many cases within their statutory timeframe.

"This is a clear indication that the current CYF model is fundamentally flawed. Only when we have a community-based, one-stop family agency - linking education, police, health and welfare - with the objective of pro-actively reducing child abuse in the community, will we have any confidence at all that we are on track to be able to keep these at-risk children safe," Dr Newman said.

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