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Anti-Smacking Law Wasting CYF Time

21 August 2008

Anti-Smacking Law Wasting CYF Time - Missing Real Abuse

Family First NZ says there is further evidence that CYF's limited resources are being wasted, with a 'blow-out' in CYF notifications but the levels of actual abuse not increasing, or at worst not being caught.

Waikato figures reported in the Waikato Times today, show an increase of notifications from 5,973 to 8,629 but those requiring further action have fallen significantly from 3729 to 3308 that same year.

"This is a 44% increase in the demand on CYF services yet the identification of actual child abuse has dropped 11%. This is consistent with a disturbing trend nationwide," says Bob McCoskrie, National Director of Family First NZ.

"This is perfect proof that the ideologically flawed anti-smacking law has resulted in unwarranted reports of good parents which is a waste of the limited resources of CYF."

Figures from CYF's national 2007/08 Third Quarter report show a 32% increase in notifications over the previous 12 months but numbers requiring further action remaining the same.

"If the figures could be attributed to a rising intolerance to child abuse and domestic violence, we would be seeing an increasing rate of cases requiring further action - but we are not. That is simply because of a misguided law," says Mr McCoskrie.

"CYF resources are being wasted because of a law that labels good parents as potential child abusers, and distracts CYF and Police from dealing with the real causes of child abuse and actual child abuse."

Family First NZ continues to call on the politicians to change the law so that non-abusive smacking is not a crime (as wanted by 85% of NZ'ers according to recent research).

ENDS

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