Friday, July 11, 2008

Anti Smacking Law Wastes CYF Time

Family First Press Release, 8 July 2008

Family First NZ says that the evidence is in that CYF’s limited resources are being wasted, with a ‘blow-out’ in CYF notifications but the levels of actual abuse not increasing, or at worst not being caught.

“This is perfect proof that the ideologically flawed anti-smacking law has resulted in unwarranted reports of good parents which is a waste of the limited resources of CYF,” says Bob McCoskrie, National Director of Family First NZ.

Statistics released by CYF to the Nelson Mail reported today showed that the total number of notifications received by CYF had increased steadily over the last four financial years. However, the agency's figures showed a significant drop in actual cases found to involve abuse or neglect.
And figures from CYF’s national 2007/08 Third Quarter report show a 32% increase in notifications over the previous 12 months but numbers requiring further action remaining the same.

“If the figures could be attributed to a rising intolerance to child abuse and domestic violence, we would be seeing an increasing rate of cases requiring further action - but we are not. That is simply because of a misguided law,” says Mr McCoskrie.

“CYF resources are being wasted because of a law that labels good parents as potential child abusers, and distracts CYF and Police from dealing with the real causes of child abuse and actual child abuse.”

“The police report released last month also confirmed that there had been a 300% increase in families being investigated yet less than 5% were serious enough to warrant prosecution. And the number of actual child assaults are now at almost the same rate as before the law change.”

Family First NZ continues to call on the politicians to change the law so that non-abusive smacking is not a crime (as wanted by 85% of NZ’ers according to recent research). Then CYF and Police will have the time and resources to focus on the ‘rotten parents’ who are abusing and killing their children.