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Turner: Dyson shows Govt head in sand on CYFS

Turner: Dyson shows Govt head in sand on CYFS

Associate Social Development Minister Ruth Dyson's refusal to move Labour past its head-in-the-sand position over CYFS is going to lead to just one thing - more dead kids, United Future's Judy Turner said today.

"And if that sounds dramatic, then I'm sorry, but let's get real here - that is the nature of the problem we are dealing with. It is the problem that New Zealand faces.

"And pat political answers delivered as the Government tinkers with and throws money at CYFS, are just not going to do it," Mrs Turner, United Future's family affairs spokeswoman, said.

"It's very disappointing to see the doctrinaire, down-the-line response offered by Ms Dyson yesterday afternoon to United Future's detailed alternative to CYFS. And to see her get it so wrong on some very basic areas.

"What United Future has unveiled is a radical shift from where we are today."

The policy includes calls for:

* Abolishing CYFS and set up new pared-down child protection agency * Closer co-operation between Police and child protection agency * A dual intake system so that the child protection agency deals with cases where abuse has already occurred, and a separate "family support track" to deal with cases which require preventative assistance. * Key feature of the Family support track are family support co-ordinators - a new Government-funded role - social workers who assess at-risk family needs and refer them to the whole range of community-provided services they need.

"None of these ideas are in current Government thinking on CYFS. They should be," Mrs Turner said.

The full policy document can be found at

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