Don't be too hasty to report potential child abuse to CYFS: Children's CommissionerChildren's Commissoner John Angus believes that too many people are ringing up CYFS to report potential child abuse. Speaking at the Family First forum, Angus said that about 100,000 incidents are reported a year to CYFS - a huge increase in recent years - but the number of substantiated cases - around 13,000, nearly half being emotional abuse - has not had a anywhere near corresponding increase.
Instead, Angus says people should offer help, and socially interact more. Those who get involved in community groups such as play groups, sports groups and church communities are less likely to need the assistance of CYFS or draw the attention of the police -consequently limiting the number of referrals, and possibly the number of substantiated cases of child abuse - most of which are emotional abuse. Emotional abuse, Angus said at the Family First Forum, caused the most long term harm and results often from " bad choices about the company ( parents) keep and the relationships they form".
So Angus wants to support people to take action - not simply to ring CYFS as a last resort. So who is to run the parenting courses that have the potential to reduce family violence. Groups like Parents Inc. Such groups get no government funding at all, and at yesterdays Family First Forum, John Key was asked, for the second consecutive year, whether he supports - and would now lead - a Government that would provide some funding for groups such as Parents Inc.
I think you can guess what the response was. The verbal equivalent of a middle finger - but said in a very polite manner with a trademark smile.