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Minister must get to grips with CYFS

Minister must get to grips with CYFS

National Party MP Katherine Rich is asking what it takes to set the alarm bells ringing at CYFS after a baby, whose two siblings had already been removed from their mother's care, was left fighting for his life with head injuries.

"My heart sinks when I hear about these awful stories. CYFS really needs a Minister who's prepared to get stuck in and sort it out for the sake of all our vulnerable kids.

"All the warning signs were there. The alarm bells should have been sounding, given that two of the woman's children had already been removed from her care.

"When it comes to a child's life, I'd like to think that social workers would err on the side of caution."

Mrs Rich says first and foremost, responsibility lies with the parents, but CYFS has been at the centre of too many horror stories in recent times.

"All New Zealanders expect far better," says Mrs Rich.

"Where are the results from the extra millions of taxpayer dollars that has gone into CYFS?"

In October last year after the damning Baseline Review found 'deep and systemic problems' at CYFS, the Government announced an extra $120 million for the service over four years.

"But answers to parliamentary questions released just last month show thousands of phone-calls are still going unanswered.

"Those calls are all potential notifications and they are all potential tragedies," says Mrs Rich.

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