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Dunne: Child abuse blow-out needs radical rethink

Media Statement For immediate release Thursday, 15 July, 2004

Dunne: Child abuse blow-out needs radical rethink

United Future's proposed dual track child protection system is becoming even more necessary in the face of a blow-out of child abuse cases coming before CYFS, United Future leader Peter Dunne said today.

It would be made up of both a child protection and family support system, splitting the caseload between these tracks, and putting an absolute focus on the critical cases, which are up 41 percent nationally in the year to June 30.

"What's happening today is just utter overload and the system and those working in it are under this massive implosion. Good people, bad system.

"What we need to do is build a child protection agency that works more closely with the police - and gets in there fast. The intervention time in critical cases is 24 hours and this must be achieved. This must stand apart from all of the other work, it is that crucial," Mr Dunne said.

United Future launched its alternative model to the failing CYFS in April.

"Clearly we need to look at why there has been such a massive increase in child abuse notifications, but the reality is that they are happening and we must have the apparatus to deal with them.

"CYFS cannot do that. It is failing by the day and children are being hurt and dying.

"United Future's answer is radical, but we need a radical overhaul of this system. Piecemeal changes have been tried and failed.

"CYFS is dying the death of a thousand cuts - and unfortunately so are too many of our children," Mr Dunne said.

Ends.

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