22 February 2007 – United Future – Anti-smacking bill demands CYF complaints authority

Media statement – United Future
For immediate release
Thursday, 22 February 2007

Anti-smacking bill demands CYF complaints authority

United Future deputy leader Judy Turner is warning that Child, Youth and
Family staff will face a substantial increase in notifications following
the section 59 repeal Bill passing its second reading.

“This Bill will increase the workload for CYF social workers who are
already drowning in their workloads,” warns Mrs Turner.

“There is a real risk that attention to quality and sound decisions may
at times be inevitably sacrificed in an attempt to reduce the number of
unallocated cases.

“This likelihood makes a complaints authority even more essential, as it
will allow cases to be reviewed and any errors or bad judgment calls to be
put right.

“I know many parents are scared they could face losing their children if
an over-zealous neighbour phones CYF to notify that they saw them smack
their child over the fence.

“An independent complaints authority would at least give New Zealand
parents an avenue for appeal if the unthinkable were to happen to their
family – mistakes and bad judgement calls do happen.”

Hon Ruth Dyson announced in the House last Thursday that, “Following the
advocacy and hard work undertaken by (Judy Turner), I have requested my
officials to investigate a complaints authority for Child, Youth and Family
as in my view the member has proven that it would have merit,”

“I’m delighted by this undertaking, but such an authority has more merit
in light of the anti-smacking Bill passing its second reading – it’s an
absolute necessity,” insists Mrs Turner.

Contact: Judy Turner
04 4706992
021 309803


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