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Turner: CYFS stats nothing to crow about

Friday, 15 October, 2004

Turner: CYFS stats nothing to crow about

CYFS' quicker response times for the most urgent cases are a step in the right direction, but should not hide the fact that it is falling well short in the vast majority of cases, United Future welfare and families spokeswoman Judy Turner said today.

"These cases may have lower priority in one sense, in that they are not classified as critical, but there is ample evidence that they often become critical if not dealt with promptly," Mrs Turner said after the CYFS annual report was released today.

The figures clearly indicated the problem, she said.

Of the 3379 cases requiring attention in August, the 256 very urgent and 400 critical cases were largely dealt with within the mandated 24 and 48 hour periods respectively.

However that left some 80 percent of cases, supposed to be handled within either seven or 28 days dependent on whether they were adjudged urgent or low urgency respectively, where target times were met well under half the time, Mrs Turner said.

"The report clearly states that lower category response times were only met 38.1% and 44.7% respectively - well short of the target of 85%."

The Government has made a positive move to address these shortfalls by adopting United Future's differential intake system policy, which allows less urgent cases to be referred to NGOs.

"But the fact that CYFS spends $206 million on child abuse intervention services and only $14 million on preventative work means that the Government is still doing little to reduce the incidence of family violence," Mrs Turner said.


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