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The Buck Stops With The Minister

The Buck Stops With The Minister

Thursday 13 Nov 2003
Dr Muriel Newman
Press Releases -- Social Welfare

ACT New Zealand Social Welfare Spokesman Dr Muriel Newman today condemned the Government after CYF Minister Ruth Dyson admitted in Parliament that Labour is continuing to fail New Zealand children who are at risk of abuse.

"In answer to my oral question `Can she give an assurance that the 2,760 cases of potential child abuse that required further investigation at the end of September were dealt with within the required timeframe; if not, for each category of criticality, how many were not dealt with within the required timeframe?', the Minister said 2,630 cases have still not been investigated - confirming Labour's inability to run an effective child protection service," Dr Newman said.

"In light of CYF's inability to manage its caseload, it is ironic that - just this week - the Government has ordered social service agencies dealing with at-risk children to stop providing their services.

"Hamilton-based provider Parentline has dealt with 700 notifications from police of children exposed to domestic violence, but was yesterday told there will be no more funding for their service.

"This comes at a time when both the Children's Commissioner and Chief Social Worker - in response to the deaths of Saliel Aplin and Olympia Jetson - have called for greater collaboration between social service agencies and increased effort into protecting children who have been subjected to family violence.

"When asked, however, the Minister refused to take responsibility for the 2,630 cases that have not been further investigated by the department - yet, in politics, surely the buck stops with the Minister?" Dr Newman said.


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