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CYF Must Answer For Abused Baby

CYF Must Answer For Abused Baby

Thursday 27 May 2004

Dr Muriel Newman - Press Releases - Social Welfare

ACT New Zealand Northland-based MP and Social Welfare Spokesman Dr Muriel Newman today called for a full, urgent inquiry into the case of a two-month-old Northland baby allegedly abused by her father while in hospital.

"This horrific case - where a baby was abused by her father, while in hospital with a broken leg in traction - has raised so many doubts about CYF's professional competencies that a full independent inquiry is the only option," Dr Newman said.

"It is absolutely vital to determine just whose responsibility it was to ensure the safety of this child, and to make certain that those who failed are held to account.

"This inquiry must also ascertain why CYF failed to provide a care and safety plan for this baby. It must determine the timeframe for such a plan, as well as establishing what additional steps CYF should have undertaken regarding this family since child abuse was clearly involved.

"Further, it is absolutely appalling that CYF Minister Ruth Dyson has leapt to the department's defence without first finding out whether it operated in a competent, professional manner. On the face of it, it certainly appears that CYF incompetence has resulted in a baby being even more seriously abused.

"CYF's prime responsibility is to ensure that a child subjected to harm is kept safe. That does not appear to have been the case. Only an inquiry can determine the truth of the matter and ensure that those responsible are held accountable," Dr Newman said.


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