13 Oct 2011

More social workers being put into schools, frontline

9:38 pm on 13 October 2011

The Government is to put more social workers into schools and onto the frontline.

Social Development Minister Paula Bennett says an additional 149 full-time social workers will be employed to support children in low-decile primary schools.

She says that will lift the number of schools with social workers from 285 to 673. The cost is just over $11 million a year.

Ms Bennett says there will also be an extra 96 frontline Child, Youth and Family care and protection social workers, at a cost of $10.3 million a year.

The new jobs will be funded through existing budgets.

But the Labour Party says it fears cuts may be made to other programmes to fund the extra social workers.

Deputy leader Annette King says she is a big supporter of having more social workers, but is worried that other programmes may suffer to pay for them and is skeptical of the announcement coming six weeks before the election.