INDEPENDENT NEWS

System needs sorting urgently

Published: Tue 3 Aug 1999 05:25 PM
Labour today called on Social Services Minister Roger Sowry to initiate a full inquiry into CYPFA's placement services.
The call, made by Labour justice spokesperson Phil Goff, follows reports that a 14 year old youth charged with rape had earlier been placed by CYPFA in the care of a man who was today charged with the same rape.
"This is simply the latest in a series of inappropriate placements by the Children Young Persons and Their Families Agency. While the full facts of this case will not emerge until the trial, it is already evident there is a systemic problem which demands immediate action.
"This latest example comes in the wake of earlier revelations that children at risk and young offenders have been placed by CYPFA in households with gang members with long criminal records.
"It is an absolute disaster when an at-risk child is placed in an environment that increases rather than reduces their prospects of going on to offend more seriously.
"It is simply not good enough for the excuse to be given that a young person was put in a household which will make their problems worse because "there are no other placements available to the agency."
"It's time the government moved to address this situation," Mr Goff said.

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