High priority for schools reporting concerns to CYF

Monday 19 September 2011, 1:19PM
By Paula Bennett

<p>Social Development Minister Paula Bennett has asked Child Youth and Family to strengthen processes to respond better to school reports of abuse.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;Teachers and principals know the children they teach, they know what&rsquo;s normal for each child and what&rsquo;s not,&rdquo; says Ms Bennett.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;I felt we could strengthen the priority process, so if teachers have genuine concerns about a child&rsquo;s welfare, they get a rapid response.&rdquo;<br /> <br /> &ldquo;The feedback loop also means if CYF are asking a school for information they should wherever possible tell the school why and then follow up.&rdquo;<br /> <br /> A new &lsquo;Education Assist&rsquo; package will make it easier and faster for teachers to contact CYF, get guidance and advice, report concerns and get follow up.<br /> <br /> The Education Assist package includes:<br /> &bull; Dedicated &lsquo;Ed Assist&rsquo; phone line and online contact team<br /> &bull; Outbound calling service from CYF contact centre to schools<br /> &bull; Timely feedback loop from CYF to schools following reports of concern<br /> <br /> &ldquo;This package will facilitate the link between schools and CYF, ensuring concerns are dealt with appropriately and that schools are kept informed.&rdquo;<br /> <br /> The majority of notifications about children come from Police, followed by health professionals and then teachers.<br /> <br /> In the 2010/11 financial year just over 8,300 notifications were made by teachers and social workers in schools out of a total 150,747 notifications.</p>