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Turner: Team effort on domestic violence


Turner: Team effort on domestic violence

United Future's Judy Turner today supported a police call for domestic violence to be tackled at all levels.

"And that means through inter-agency co-operation," Mrs Turner said in supporting the call of Sergeant Tony Moore, the police family violence and community services co-ordinator who spoke out on the problem last week.

"It's not all the police, and it's not all CYFS or any one else," she said in commending the approach of Wellington's Eastern Suburb's police team which alerts social agencies even after a single callout.

"I see inter-agency co-operation as an absolute basic. Investigation after investigation into cases where children have died at the hands of their caregivers, despite intervention by CYFS, show that no one agency had the whole picture.

"And we simply cannot expect CYFS to be the only one carrying the burden when it comes to child protection. Ultimately, responsibility must rest with parents themselves to get help when they need it, but police, schools, GPs and other professionals who all have a vital role in preventing children suffering harm."

This was made more necessary than ever because CYFS was an organisation in crisis, Mrs Turner, United Future's family affairs spokeswoman, said. "Any organisation that is in a phase of 'stabilisation' is not in a place to drive forward the policy, service development and massive attitudinal change needed to see a real turnaround in our shameful statistics.

"I have said it before and will continue to say it. It is time for change. The low importance placed on supporting the family in recent years reflects the ignorance of decision-makers.

"When families are healthy, financially stable and free from violence, we see real growth across all the measures that count - and we have happier, safer kids.

"New Zealanders have had enough of this piecemeal 'ambulance at the bottom of the cliff' approach to keeping our children safe," she said.

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