• Nick Smith
Associate Minister of Social Services, Work and Income (Work and Income)

The Coalition Government has adopted a National Strategy For The Care of Young Sex Abusers and provided the resources to ensure we deal far better with this group than ever before, Hon Dr Nick Smith said today.

Today Acting Minister of Social Welfare, Hon Dr Nick Smith released background papers under the Official Information Act on work done to develop the National Strategy.

"Young sex abusers have been living in New Zealand communities for years without treatment, but with our National Strategy For The Care of Young Sex Abusers this Government is taking positive action to help them and consequently make our communities safer.

"My colleague Roger Sowry announced in April that $27 million has been set aside in this year's Budget over three years to help the Children, Young Persons and their Families Service and the NZ Community Funding Agency provide services for high risk children and young people.

"This investment will enable CYPFS to provide the services and social workers for 66 more residential places by the end of 2000/01, including a 12 place unit in Christchurch specifically for treating adolescent sexual abusers.

"Up to $13.8 million of this funding will also be available to develop programmes and new services which will greatly improve the range of and access to interventions for youth who are at risk.

"$2.8 million of the $13.8 million will be immediately available in 1998/99 for community-based treatment and care programmes for children and young people with multiple behavioural problems, including those who sexually abuse.

"These treatment programmes are vital for children and young people with multiple problems so they and their families can address their disorders and get on with their lives.

"This will enable us to continue to work in partnership with providers like STOP and SAFE who already provide intensive treatment programmes for adolescent sex abusers, and who are very supportive of the Government's commitment to more community based treatment for young sex abusers.

"The Government has the will and has committed the funding to provide more treatment to positively change the behaviour of young sex abusers.

"It is now up to individual communities to recognise the value of this treatment and challenge their Not In My Back Yard attitudes," says the Minister.