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Truancy prevention will pay big welfare dividends

Judith Collins
National Party Welfare Spokeswoman

23 June 2005

Truancy prevention will pay big dividends in welfare

National's Welfare spokeswoman, Judith Collins, says a focus on truancy prevention in education will pay big dividends in welfare.

She is commenting following statements made by Shannon Pakura, general manager, service development at Child, Youth and Family (CYF) to Parliament's social services select committee today.

"Mrs Pakura confirmed what National has been saying for years - truancy is the biggest youth justice issue," says Ms Collins.

"As Mrs Pakura said, youth crime tends to happen between 9am and 3pm, when children should be at school.

"Labour's no-care, no-responsibility attitude to young people roaming the streets has meant these children are being written off before they have the ability to make sensible decisions.

"Every tool possible must be used to ensure children attend school, because when truancy goes down, so does youth crime.

"We take this seriously - in our youth crime policy we have said we will audit and improve school truancy programmes.

"In our welfare policy we have made it clear that we expect parents on benefits to make sure their children turn up to class.

"National is prepared to take a commonsense approach that focuses on giving New Zealand's most vulnerable kids a chance," says Ms Collins.

Ends

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