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More than 800 CYF calls go unanswered

Anne Tolley MP National's Associate Welfare (CYFS) Spokeswoman

11 July 2006

More than 800 CYF calls go unanswered

The National Party's Associate Welfare spokeswoman says the Auckland man put on hold at CYFS for ten minutes after ringing twice with an 'urgent' tip-off does not appear to be an isolated case.

"The perseverance of this Auckland electrician needs to be applauded. Unfortunately other New Zealanders who witness suspected child abuse are not as patient," says Anne Tolley.

She is commenting on reports today where the electrician attempted to report a mother who was 'yelling, ranting and roughly shoving her two pre-school children'

"Agreed, this may not be the most serious case on CYF books, but we all know violent behaviour can escalate over time. This has all the hallmarks of the 'lost' Ron Burrows phone call to CYF, when he warned of the risk of abuse to his daughter, Coral-Ellen."

Mrs Tolley has released figures showing thousands of calls are still not getting answered at CYF National Call Centre, despite an improvement over the past six months.

"The number of abandoned calls has reduced considerably. They needed to. The statistics were appalling, with almost 41,000 calls abandoned last year.

"But, despite an improvement, we still have more than 800 calls a month going unanswered. "Labour is busy telling the community to take responsibility and report suspected abuse. But surely it's the Government's responsibility to make sure there's someone who will pick up the phone," says Mrs Tolley.

ENDS

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