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Youth Suicide Rates No Surprise

FAMILIES APART REQUIRE EQUALITY (FARE)

19 Hornsey Road, Melrose Wellington, New Zealand; Tel 04 389 4222

Fax 04 934 4080 Mobile 025 439 461, E-Mail aasbt@attglobal.net

30 May 2001

For Immediate Release

PRESS RELEASE

YOUTH SUICIDE RATES NO SURPRISE

"Reports of higher suicide rates amongst welfare children are no surprise whatsoever", FARE spokesperson Darryl Ward said today.

"He was commenting on reports that researchers were "astonished" by findings that children involved with the Department of Child, Youth and Family Services are killing themselves at a rate of 15 times that of their peers.

"Ward called upon the Department to publicly support shared parenting initiatives because it was known these would help significantly to overcome the youth suicide problem.

"It has been well documented for a long time overseas that children who are denied a meaningful relationship with their fathers are many more times likely to commit suicide, as well as being many times more likely to engage in substance abuse and anti-social behaviour. They are far more likely to be institutionalised or have teenage pregnancies.

"It really questions the credibility of CYPFS if they are "astonished" by this well established fact. We would now expect CYPFS to be leading the call for family law reform and the implementation of shared parenting in New Zealand if they have a genuine concern for the welfare of our children", concluded Ward.

ends

(All enquiries to Darryl Ward 025 - 230 1667)

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