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Thousands of calls to CYFS go unanswered

Thousands of calls to CYFS go unanswered

"Despite the Government pouring millions of taxpayer dollars into Child, Youth and Family Services, thousands of calls are still going unanswered," says National Party Social Services spokeswoman Katherine Rich.

"It's inevitable that the department's 'hands-off' Minister will claim that only a small percentage of calls don't get answered, but that's no consolation for the vulnerable children who could be at risk.

"New Zealanders don't call CYFS for fun, they are almost always raising genuine concerns about the welfare of children in their communities," says Mrs Rich.

Answers to written Parliamentary questions show close to 6000 calls to the Child, Youth and Family Services call centre went unanswered in the three months between November 2003 and January 2004.

"Any one of those calls could have been a tragedy in progress.

"The Government keeps telling the public to be responsible and raise the alarm with CYFS if there is a problem. I'm worried that people won't bother if they can't get through," says Mrs Rich.

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