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Unallocated does not mean unattended

23 August 2006

Unallocated does not mean unattended

Child, Youth and Family Services Minister Ruth Dyson says notifications to CYF dating back to 2004 have in fact been allocated to social workers.

"Unfortunately an answer to written parliamentary questions from National MP Anne Tolley contained an incorrect table. The cases listed in the table provided to her were data entry errors – these have now been corrected."

"However I must also point out that notifications classed as 'urgent' and 'low urgent' often do not relate to children and young people who are at risk of harm.

"Urgent notifications refer to children and young people who are alleged to have been abused or neglected, but who are considered safe from further harm because they are in the care of a protective adult, whereas low urgent notifications concern children and young people who have either behavioural or relationship difficulties.

"As I have pointed out to Mrs Tolley before, in each case the situation of the child has been assessed by CYF and found to be safe from further harm. The children and young people in these two categories are waiting to either be allocated a social worker or referred to other social services."

Total notifications to 30 June 2006 were over 64,000 - double the number received in 2002. In spite of this unprecedented demand, CYF is consistently meeting or exceeding performance targets for our most critical levels. Unallocated cases have reduced from more than 3,000 in October 2004 down to 731 in April 2006.

"Child, Youth and Family has worked extremely hard to bring down the number of unallocated cases, and despite significant increases in notifications, we are seeing real progress," says Ms Dyson.

ENDS

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