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CYF social workers’ inexperienced

CYF social workers’ inexperienced

Dr Muriel Newman Friday,

3 June 2005 - Social Welfare

New information on the Department of Child Youth and Family shows the organisation is being staffed with inexperienced social workers, the majority of whom have had less than five years experience, ACT Deputy Leader and Social Welfare spokesman Dr Muriel Newman said today.

Answers to Dr Newman’s parliamentary questions show 75 percent of CYF social workers have less than five years’ experience, while almost half (44 percent) have less than two years’ experience.

“Yet, the staff of the department have to deal with the country’s most complex and critical cases; to force inexperienced staff to cope with extremely difficult situations is a recipe for disaster.

“The figures show that 27 staff hired by CYF in the 12 months till the end of April had already left the organisation, 363 staff had been employed and 313 staff had left.

“These figures are an indictment on the leadership given to the department. It is leadership that determines the culture of CYF and if the department is suffering from the poor leadership that is provided by the Minister, she should either shape up or ship out," Dr Newman said.

"In politics, the buck stops with the Minister. If over-worked and over- stressed staff are leaving the organisation in droves, only to be replaced by brand new social workers who have barely finished their training, then it is little wonder that the organisation is struggling. It makes it extremely difficult if inexperienced social workers are thrust in at the deep end without the support of experienced colleagues.

“Labour is continuing to restructure the organisation to death and impose such a ‘risk averse’ requirement on social workers they are increasingly having to spend their precious time filling in reports and forms instead of getting on with their real jobs.

"Around 5000 at-risk New Zealand children are in the care of a floundering organisation which not only lacks enough staff with experience, but is also quite obviously failing to keep the staff it does have,” Dr Newman said.


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