Sad that kiwi children are not held in high esteem.What kind of country allows child abuse to run rampant? The fractured family industry has much blood on its callous hands.
Child Youth and Family are getting far more notifications of children needing help but Social Development Minister Paula Bennett says that the spike is due to better reporting.
Appearing before Parliament's social services select committee, Ms Bennett said there had been a 119 percent increase in notifications between 2005 and 2009.
She said that there was often more than one notification per child so while there were 110,000 notifications in 2009, that did not mean that number of children were involved.
The figure for 2005 was 40,000 and the projection for 2010 was 125,000 or 2400 a week.
Ms Bennett said 47 percent of notifications were from police who were now legally obliged to pass reports to the service.
Unallocated cases had reduced by 76 percent and at the end of March 2010 quarter 95.5 percent of notifications were completed on time.
Response times were good, 98 percent of "critical" notifications were dealt with within the set 24-hour period while 97 percent of those classified "very urgent" were done within the required 48 hour period.
For "urgent" cases 89 percent were done within the required week and "low urgent" also scored well, 94 percent within 28 days.
The committee was also told that there were fewer children in care and custody which freed up resources.
Head of Child Youth and Family Ray Smith said: "If you went back four years we peaked at 5000 children in out-of-home care, that is children not living with parents, that's down to about 4300. So we've been more successful in moving children through the system and getting permanent placements than I think we were traditionally."
Figures showed that as at the end of March there were 5568 children and young people in "care and protection custody of the chief executive" (4 percent fewer than previous year). The 5568 includes children who have returned home but remain under CYF protection. The 4306 in foster care cost about $17,000 a year each - which covers everything from clothing to education.
Ministry chief executive Peter Hughes said that took up a big chunk of Child Youth and Family's $467 million annual budget. It works out about $73m a year.
"The cost of maintaining children in care is by far the single biggest cost in the vote, it's very very expensive." Mr Hughes said.
Ms Bennett said the area would be a focus.
"You're going to see quite a push from us over the next few months and over the next year about that sort of home for life, so that permanency."
There would be a greater focus on fostering and permanent placements and getting families in position to take children back, she said.