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Law Society Response To Mick Brown's CYFS Review

MEDIA RELEASE FROM THE FAMILY LAW SECTION OF THE NEW ZEALAND LAW SOCIETY IN RESPONSE TO MICK BROWN’S REVIEW OF THE DEPARTMENT OF CYF SERVICES

For immediate use 2 March 2001

The New Zealand Law Society's Family Law Section, which represents family lawyers in New Zealand, strongly endorses Mick Brown’s report reviewing CYF Services.

“It is a clear and honest review of the department’s current functioning in relation to how the department has been dealing with both notifications of abuse and the placement of children in care,” said the convener of the section’s CYFS Subcommittee, Tim Druce.

“It is also a call to action with clear and practical recommendations and we welcome the Minister of Social Services & Employment’s positive response and commitment to immediate action.

“However, we note that the Minister is somewhat cautious in his response to recommendations relating to community monitoring and evaluation of the department’s functioning. We strongly endorse the need for external accountability and will be paying close attention to how this issue is addressed over the coming months,” he said.

“We recognise that it will be a major task to transform successfully the culture of the department to one focused on:

- quality outcomes for abused and at risk children and their families; and

- effective resourcing of the frontline services of both this department and other agencies such as Iwi Social Services and other community\voluntary agencies.

“As a section and as family lawyers, we look forward to being actively involved with the department as it plans to implement the report’s recommendations,” Tim Druce said.

ENDS

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