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Enough reports; time for action on child abuse

Wednesday, 14 July, 2004

Dunne: Enough reports; time for action on child abuse

Making New Zealand Fit for Children, a Unicef report released today is the latest indictment of the Government's approach to child welfare in this country, United Future leader Peter Dunne said today.

"And we can fully expect that this very good report will now gather dust on bookshelves everywhere just as countless very good reports are already doing today.

"Of course, prior to that, there will be the ritual tutt-tutting and hand-wringing and pledges to do better - and even claims that new programmes and policies are about to make a difference any day now," Mr Dunne said.

"And the children will suffer as they have through various book-end reports."

"Unicef simply confirms that child abuse prevention has been poorly co-ordinated and randomly implemented. It's been piecemeal, reactive ... it's all been said before, and tragically it is all still true," Mr Dunne said.

United Future has put up the most innovative and direct solution of any political party in New Zealand with its policy launched earlier this year, he said.

United Future proposes:

* A dual track approach - comprising both a child protection and family support system. Split caseload between these tracks.

* Rebuild a child protection agency - working more closely with the police.

* Family Support co-ordinators able to do needs assessments and refer cases with lower level risks/needs to a range of NGOs and support systems.

* Develop Family Centres ("one stop shops") bringing together key services and involving the community.

* Public education campaigns promoting parenting skills - to be run by the Families Commission.


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