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New Facility Will Help Stop Kids Pain

The new secure facility opened today in Christchurch marks the beginning of a new era in the treatment of young sex abusers.

"We mustn't forget that children and teenagers who sexually abuse others, have often lived a life of abuse, violence and sadness," said the Hon Roger Sowry, Minister of Social Services, Work and Income.

"In truth they are our young people living in our community right now. They are the children of our neighbours, friends and families and come from all sectors of society."

"We owe it to them to have a safe place for them to stay on a long-term basis, so they can go through rehabilitation programmes. That's exactly what this unit will provide - another option in our continum of care plans."

The $4.4m facility is being run by Barnardos, under a contract from the Children, Young Persons and their Families Agency (CYPFA). It will cost around $1.8 million a year to operate.

Since 1996 when Cabinet signed-off on the Residential Services Strategy - which works with some of our most seriously troubled kids - Government has invested more than $60 million in putting in place programmes to help these kids.

"I congratulate CYPFA and Barnardos for their long history of work with these difficult kids. And I'd particularly like to thank the local community. We've learned from them some valuable lessons in the importance of strong links and open communication with local communities."

ENDS

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