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Cullen makes another bungle in silly attack

Judith Collins MP
National Party Welfare Spokeswoman

19 July 2005

Cullen makes another bungle in silly attack

National Party Welfare spokeswoman Judith Collins says Michael Cullen has made another bungle with a silly attack on National over unallocated cases at CYF.

“Dr Cullen should stick to Finance. If he had done his homework he might have seen research released at the weekend which showed serious problems at CYF,” says Ms Collins.

Southland psychologist Kay McKenzie was given access to 300 substantiated physical and sexual abuse cases handled by CYF for her research.

It found that a third of sexual abusers were teenagers or children, and nearly two-thirds were not followed up by CYF or police.

CYF also did not record information properly and young victims themselves were not always interviewed.

Another key finding was that in about 30 cases in which young people sexually abused other children, the perpetrators were not given their own file and investigated separately by CYF.

Ms McKenzie said some files suggested that parents of the young offender had not been spoken to by CYF.

“Taken in isolation, Ms McKenzie’s research is damning enough, but when you add in the most recent case where CYF placed children with an alleged sexual abuser after being warned, then a more worrying picture emerges.

“Labour threw millions of dollars at CYF to avoid a repeat of the Coral-Ellen Burrows tragedy - the latest cases show serious mistakes are still being made,” says Ms Collins.


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