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Child Abuse Risk Almost Double Under Labour

Child Abuse Risk Almost Double Under Labour

ACT New Zealand Deputy Leader and Social Welfare Spokesman Dr Muriel Newman today released new information showing that the number of children in serious danger of being abused has doubled since Labour became the Government.

"Answers to my written Parliamentary Questions have revealed that, in the 1999-2000 year, CYF classified 10,330 child abuse notifications as `Urgent'. That number has skyrocketed to 21,505 in the 2003-04 year - an increase of 108 percent," Dr Newman said.

"Meanwhile, the more serious abuse notification category, those labelled `Critical', has increased 30 percent - from 3,475 in 1999-2000, to 4,494 in 2003-04.

"Further, these figures are part of an overall increase in the number of children coming to CYF's attention. In 1999-2000 CYF deemed 23,232 cases as requiring further action. By 2003-04 that had leapt 60 percent, to 37,160.

"With almost 14,000 extra children at serious risk of abuse, or being abused already, these numbers show that the current CYF model isn't working and is simply an ambulance at the bottom of a cliff.

"Only a forward-thinking, one-stop welfare agency - linking police, education, health and welfare - with a goal of reducing child abuse in the community will have the ability to turn around the escalation in child abuse that we are now seeing," Dr Newman said.

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