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CYF social workers inexperienced

Filed under: Sex Abuse / CYF — JohnPotter @ 9:32 am Wed 8th June 2005

Press Release: Dr Muriel Newman, ACT New Zealand

New information on the Department of Child Youth and Family shows the organisation is being staffed with inexperienced social workers, the majority of whom have had less than five years experience, ACT Deputy Leader and Social Welfare spokesman Dr Muriel Newman said today.

Answers to Dr Newman’s parliamentary questions show 75 percent of CYF social workers have less than five years’ experience, while almost half (44 percent) have less than two years’ experience.

“Yet, the staff of the department have to deal with the country’s most complex and critical cases; to force inexperienced staff to cope with extremely difficult situations is a recipe for disaster.

“The figures show that 27 staff hired by CYF in the 12 months till the end of April had already left the organisation, 363 staff had been employed and 313 staff had left.

“These figures are an indictment on the leadership given to the department. It is leadership that determines the culture of CYF and if the department is suffering from the poor leadership that is provided by the Minister, she should either shape up or ship out,” Dr Newman said.

“In politics, the buck stops with the Minister. If over-worked and over- stressed staff are leaving the organisation in droves, only to be replaced by brand new social workers who have barely finished their training, then it is little wonder that the organisation is struggling. It makes it extremely difficult if inexperienced social workers are thrust in at the deep end without the support of experienced colleagues.

“Labour is continuing to restructure the organisation to death and impose such a ‘risk averse’ requirement on social workers they are increasingly having to spend their precious time filling in reports and forms instead of getting on with their real jobs.

“Around 5000 at-risk New Zealand children are in the care of a floundering organisation which not only lacks enough staff with experience, but is also quite obviously failing to keep the staff it does have,” Dr Newman said.


  1. Well said Muriel but what do you expect with the imbecile Maharey running the dysfunctional misandrist system – poor Coral Burrows etc….etc…etc……..the list is endless. The present inept bureaucracy is a tragedy for vulnearble children but once again they all say it’s not our fault!!!! They should all be held on criminal charges of crimes against children! Labour must go – if not God help New Zealand.

    Comment by Peter Burns — Wed 8th June 2005 @ 4:37 pm

  2. Hi, I’m going into a social practice degree in 2006. I am doing it because I had some experiences as a child as well as other members of my family. Now I look and I see the same thing only worse…and I’m fed up. However, it is easy to feel this way of which like many its only right. My point is people go into this career so I have been told with the means of trying to save those children or whatever age group they deal with. My attitude is that if I ever get that far in being a qualified social worker, I know I would’nt be able to save the world or nation for that matter. Do you think that perhaps one reason these new recruites are employed early is because they need to start earning money after being in study for some time. To be honest I feel that way to, I do feel for those fellow workers who do have purpose in this area, their tutors are not always helpful according to other sources that by the time get there maybe you run out when it comes to the “real meat” the job! I want to keep myself open and focused, just hope that whatever events in which case, the election coming up hope it makes some difference. Changing of individual attitudes help.

    Comment by Dee Thaugland — Thu 23rd June 2005 @ 12:43 pm

  3. Everybody have to start somewhere to gain experience in a certain field.In five years time those who have two years experience will have seven.If the situation is complex,then it is going to take time for people to become skilled and experienced to deal with intricate cases.On the other hand people are intelligent enough to do some maths.Having finished studies, one is left with a student loan and to work your butt off and not being able to make ends meet defeats the purpose of studying. No wonder social workers are leaving for greener pastures. In order to perform well, a person has to look after their own wellbeing first. Social work is not about the money,it is about the wellbeing of society, but their has to be a balance. Most people want to own a house and a car and be comfortable.With the ridiculous prices of houses how can it be expected of social workers not to look for greener pastures overseas which are often advertised over the internet and papers.

    Comment by stephen — Sun 3rd July 2005 @ 12:54 pm

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