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Mandatory reporting of child abuse unworkable at present

PSA MEDIA RELEASE

26th July 2012 - For Immediate Use

Mandatory reporting of child abuse unworkable with current resources

The Public Service Association says any benefits of mandatory reporting of child abuse would be cancelled out if Child Youth and Family was not adequately resourced to deal with it.

The issue of mandatory reporting of child abuse and neglect has been raised by the Coroner in the wake of the Kahui twins case, and is also a key proposal in the Green Paper on Vulnerable Children.

The PSA says any move to introduce mandatory reporting would need to be balanced with extra resourcing and funding.

CYF workers are already struggling with high caseloads and notifications have risen by over 140% in the last five years.

PSA National Secretary Brenda Pilott says “staff would be very concerned if mandatory reporting was hastily implemented without any consideration to the corresponding effect it would have on their workloads and the families and children they deal with.”

“The implications of adding mandatory reporting on top of their current caseloads without extra resourcing to handle the resulting increase in notifications, would make it unworkable.”

“The last thing anyone wants is a situation where mandatory reporting actually ends up putting children at risk because of an overloaded and under-resourced system which wouldn’t have the capacity to properly investigate and deal with abuse and neglect notifications,” she says.

The PSA says any move towards mandatory reporting would need careful consideration and full consultation with unions, community organisations, professional bodies and government.
ends

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