April 07, 2016
Rebstock axe falls on CYF
Child, Youth and Family is to have a complete overhaul under radical reforms to the way the state cares for vulnerable young people.
Social Development Minister Anne Tolley says Cabinet has agreed to some of the 81 recommendations contained in a review of the sector led by Dame Paula Rebstock.
The overhaul is expected to take up to five years to be fully implemented, but a new system will be in place by the end of March 2017.
This will focus on prevention, intensive intervention, care support, transition support and a youth justice service aimed at preventing offending and reoffending.
She says the service will have a new child-centred operating model with a greater focus on harm and trauma prevention and early intervention.
There will be a stronger focus on reducing the over-representation of Maori, who now make up six out of 10 kids in care.
Strategic partnerships will be developed with iwi groups and NGOs, and new ways of working effectively will be developed with qualified academics, social service providers, iwi and Whanau Ora.
Ms Tolley says the system will provide a single point of accountability for the long-term wellbeing of vulnerable children, with the voice of the child represented in planning and strategy.
A social investment approach using actuarial valuations and evidence of what works will identify the best way of targeting early interventions, to ensure that vulnerable children receive the care and support they need, when they need it.
Direct purchasing of vital services such as health, education and counselling support to allow funding to follow the child, so that these young people can gain immediate access to assistance.
There will also be a law change this year to raise the age of state care to a young person’s 18th birthday, with transition support being considered up to the age of 25.
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