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CYF in limbo as merger looms

Judith Collins MP
National Party Welfare Spokeswoman

20 June 2006

CYF in limbo as merger looms

National Party Welfare spokeswoman Judith Collins says the delayed release of a CYF review into preventable infant deaths is symptomatic of far wider problems within the department charged with looking after our vulnerable kids.

“CYF has totally dropped the ball and the Minister should be embarrassed. This report’s a year late, agencies which are supposed to be involved in the review haven’t even been contacted, and CYF’s new chief social worker needs a briefing on it.”

Ms Collins is commenting on a report commissioned in October 2004, where CYF was expected to undertake a review of health and welfare records of babies killed or hurt by their caregivers in the past decade. A report was promised within six to eight months.

“CYF is a department that has lurched from one crisis to the next. Report after report has identified failure after failure.

“It can’t even meet deadlines on issues as important as child homicides.

“But what’s really worrying is that it is now a department without any leadership. Its chief executive has gone and the Minister is in a permanent state of holiday awaiting a merger which may or may not work.”

So far, the Government’s provided no information about how the CYF merger with the Social Development Ministry will provide any better protection for our most vulnerable children.

“In fact, officials initially warned it would destabilise both departments,” says Ms Collins.

“Ruth Dyson has to show some leadership. She has been AWOL since news of the merger surfaced. It’s time to front up and be accountable, Minister.”


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