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Unallocated Cases Show Need For Action - PSA

The new detail about the number of unallocated cases facing Child Youth and Family workers shows the ‘absolute necessity’ of building the capacity of the department, the PSA said this morning.

‘These figures are a real cause for concern, and may be a shock to the public, but they only confirm what those involved already know,’ PSA national secretary Richard Wagstaff said.

The controversial move to use social workers from several private welfare agencies has received mixed responses from PSA members, he said.

‘They have expressed very legitimate concerns about how far this will go and their fear it amounts to a “contracting out” of their specialist jobs.

‘The PSA has approached the Government on this and demanded there be no contracting “model” in place. We have been very specific about our rights about this,’ Wagstaff said.

‘The state can not contract out its responsibility to protect vulnerable children. However we welcome any additional resources that can be obtained from other agencies to meet the existing crisis.’

‘We understand social workers from these welfare agencies will work under the direction of Child Youth and Family people and will bring short-term – and necessary – relief but this is not a long-term answer.’

Increased liaison and communication between these agencies and the department will be of benefit. People need to understand the problem of abuse and neglect is not just a Child Youth and Family problem to deal with. We must all play a part.’

‘That means increased funding for more social workers and improving the way they work. It means keeping people in the jobs and working “out-there” in partnership with the community,’ he said.

For more comment or information please call
the PSA national secretary Richard Wagstaff on 025 2778131
or the media officer Colin Williams on 025 575839 or 04 917 2039

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