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Same Old, Same Old, Steve

Same Old, Same Old, Steve

On launching The Care and Protection Blueprint 2003 today, Social Services and Employment Minister, Steve Maharey, said that the government wants to support social service agencies to work closely together to keep children and families who are at risk safe.

"Governments keep on promising to improve child well-being but they never deliver, " said Lindsay Mitchell, Petitioner for a Parliamentary review of the DPB.

"In 1973, speaking about the aims of the new Child Welfare Bill, the then Minister of Social Welfare, Norm King, said, 'We hope to strengthen liaison between police and social workers....(the Bill) will give greater emphasis to preventive aspects than does the present law.' "

"This Bill was intended to deal with increasing juvenile offending by keeping young people out of court but it was an overwhelming failure judging by today's dismal youth offending statistics."

"In that same year, the DPB was introduced. To some degree it was also expected to reduce juvenile crime by paying single mothers and fathers an income to stay at home. Again this policy has failed to achieve what it set out to. In fact, because it established universal entitlement to a benefit for sole parenting, it has exacerbated the situation. Instead of producing safer and more secure families it has regularly delivered the opposite."

"A government serious about increasing child well-being and reducing juvenile offending would begin by acknowledging this," Mrs Mitchell concluded.

Lindsay Mitchell
Petitioner for a Parliamentary review of the DPB
ph/fx 04 562 7944
e-mail dandl.mitchell@clear.net.nz

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