CYF failings further exposed

Published: Tue 11 Nov 2003 05:16 PM
CYF failings further exposed
"The Department of Child Youth and Family is further from fixing its systemic failures than anyone previously thought," says National Party Welfare spokeswoman Katherine Rich.
Her comments follow new figures that show Maori children make up more than half of all child abuse cases and revelations that CYF beds, which had already been paid for by the taxpayer, are not being used.
"Worse still, is that these latest failings have surfaced the day before the Government's release of yet another damning report on the CYF connection to Masterton's Howse murder case," Mrs Rich says.
"In the past year CYF failed to use more than $1 million worth of pre-purchased contracted bed nights.
"At a time when abuse notifications have climbed by 31% and the unallocated case list has skyrocketed, the Government has been unable to give any guarantees that children weren't left in an unsafe environment while taxpayer funded beds were not being used.
"To have that many beds empty is bad management - pure and simple," Mrs Rich says.
"After weeks of bad press, following four years of neglect under Labour, the Government must accept responsibility for CYF's failings.
"I suspect tomorrow's two reports on the Howse double murder will paint yet another bleak picture of a Department in crisis.
"It's no coincidence that this spin-obsessed Government brought forward the release of its baseline review and subsequent funding announcements to head off the inevitable criticisms.
"The buck stops with the Government and Labour must resist its instincts to make excuses for continuing to fail our most vulnerable children," says Mrs Rich.

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