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Child Protection Agency Supports Judges Comments

Media Release

23 August 2006

Successful Child Protection Agency Supports Judges Comments

The Family Help Trust is backing comments made by Principal Youth Court Judge, Andrew Becroft and Youth lobby group Great Potentials chief executive Lesley Max.

Both have said the focus for decreasing youth offending in future should be on early intervention and Lesley Max says more help should be given to families throughout children's lives to teach good parenting skills.

FHT Chair, Sally Thompson, says research and common sense has been saying the same thing for years.

"It's not rocket science. Get in early (preferably while the mother is pregnant), advise and support dysfunctional families when they decide to make changes to the way they live and teach their children, so that the cycle of dysfunction can be broken," she says.

"Building more prisons is not the answer. Keeping people in their possibly dysfunctional home environment on home detention will not be the answer for some. We must change learned behaviour and poor parenting skills for the sake of our future generations."

Sally Thompson says the memory of the Kahui twins is fading fast. She says we must hang on to the outrage and anger that followed the death of the innocent babies and start properly funding programmes that are shown to work.

"We are currently in negotiations with the Government with a view to securing long term funding. This will ensure we can continue our effective and successful service and we are hopeful there will be a positive outcome," she says.

The Christchurch based Trust has been operating for more than a decade with fundraising and donations the main source of income.

"We are hopeful that the Government will see the immense value in the success of our programmes and support early intervention that has been shown to work and change the lives of those who need us most," she says.

www.familyhelptrust.org.nz

ENDS

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