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Review confirms heavy CYF caseloads

Review confirms heavy CYF caseloads

Social Development Minister Paula Bennett must move to reduce pressures on frontline Child, Youth and Family staff following confirmation their work with some of our most vulnerable kids is at risk through heavy caseloads, Labour’s Children’s spokesperson Jacinda Ardern says.

“An internal review of Child Youth & Family has found that while CYFs social workers are doing their best to respond to increasingly complex cases, the quality of their work is being compromised by the workloads they face.

“The review was prompted by CYF staff concerned at the overwhelming amount of work they are being asked to take on and the PSA. It confirms social workers are over-loaded and unable to focus their time and energy on the kids they are tasked with protecting.

“While Ms Bennett has repeatedly claimed it is impossible to work to a figure when determining whether a social worker is being stretched too far, this review proves otherwise.

“Almost three-quarters of social workers are managing caseloads of 19 or more children. The review rightly recommends that appropriate caseloads be defined and actively managed.

“Meeting these demands, however, cannot come at the expense of potentially vulnerable children. Changing thresholds to reduce the number of notifications that CYF deals with is something Ms Bennett needs to rule out in the wake of this report.

“While CYF has faced a six fold increase in its reported number of notifications over the past 15 years, extra resourcing has been limited with NGOs having to pick up additional cases.

“The review is unequivocal; CYF needs more resourcing and it needs more social workers. It's now up to Ms Bennett to give this review the attention it deserves and reduce the pressure faced by frontline social work staff.”


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