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Urgent cases waiting at CYF

Anne Tolley MP National Party Associate Welfare Spokeswoman

21 July 2006

Urgent cases waiting at CYF

Child abuse notifications deemed 'low urgent' can languish unattended for up to 11 months before being allocated to a social worker," says National's Associate Welfare spokeswoman (CYF), Anne Tolley.

She is releasing figures obtained from the Associate Social Development Minister which show that one case last year took 45 weeks to be allocated, while another took 26 weeks.

"CYF staff are supposed to conduct an 'exploratory interview' within 28 days, according to the department's protocols, but this is not happening.

"2,790 'low urgent' cases waited for more than the target 28 days for investigation in 2005.

"Cases deemed 'urgent' are also suffering unacceptable delays. These are supposed to be investigated within seven days.

"At the end of March 1,287 'urgent' cases were unallocated.

"A lot can happen to a child in a month, let alone 11 months. A family situation can deteriorate rapidly. The welfare of vulnerable children is being put at risk.

"The Minister, Ruth Dyson, has taken no responsibility whatsoever for the failings of CYF. And now her Government is risking the wellbeing of children and babies by leaving these cases to languish," says Mrs Tolley.

ENDS

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