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No Denying Causes Of CYF Escapes

Tue, 2 Nov 2004

No Denying Causes Of CYF Escapes

Dr Muriel Newman - Press Releases - Social Welfare

New information on the number of escapes from Child, Youth and Family facilities show that this Government is failing to keep troubled children and young people safe in its care, ACT New Zealand Deputy Leader and Social Welfare Spokesman Dr Muriel Newman said today.

"Answers to my written Parliamentary Questions have revealed that, between February 1 2003 and July 31 2004, 74 young people absconded from CYF residences throughout the country," Dr Newman said.

"Of this reported 74 escapes, 90 percent were from two centres: 49 from the Northern Residential Centre, and 18 from the Kingslea Residential Centre.

"CYF centres are used as a last resort for vulnerable and troubled children and young people who need professional care. These figures show that CYF - the Government department charged with caring for, and protecting, these children - is failing in its duty.

"Worse, some of these children have been on the run for more than a week, with one missing for 19 days. This is simply not good enough, and a symptom of a flawed system.

"It is outrageous that young people have continued to abscond from CYF residences. I am calling on CYF Minister Ruth Dyson to accept responsibility for this problem. It is time for her to either sort it out, or resign," Dr Newman said.

Escapes from CYF Residences and time at large:

Northern Residential Centre: 49 escapes - two of 30 mins; two of two hours; three of six hours; one of 6.5 hours; 17 of one day; seven of three days; one of seven days; one of nine days; one of 19 days; 14 time not recorded.

Lower North Youth Justice Residential Centre: six escapes - one time not recorded; one of six hours; four of one day.

Youth Justice North: one escape - one of 40 mins

Kingslea Residential Centre: 18 escapes - one time not recorded; three of 30 mins; one of 45 mins; two of one hour; two of two hours; one of five hours; one of six hours; one of 18 hours; two of one day; three of two days; one of 10 days.


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