August 18, 2016
Oranga Tamariki for vulnerable children
The Government has brushed off concerns from other parties and child advocates and will stick with the name Ministry for Vulnerable Children for its replacement for the Child, Youth and Family Service.
Social Development Minister Anne Tolley says the new stand-alone ministry also called Oranga Tamariki, will focus on the care and protection of vulnerable children and young people.
It will begin operating by April 2017.
Ms Tolley says the inclusion of an aspirational Maori name reinforces the expectation that more needs to be done to address the fact six out of ten kids in care are Maori.
She says it's not a rebranding exercise.
It will require strong leadership to implement the massive changes required over the next 4-5 years, as well as embed the necessary culture change within staff.
The new ministry will focus on five core services – prevention, intensive intervention, care support services, transition support and a youth justice service aimed at preventing offending and reoffending.
It will have the ability to directly purchase vital services such as trauma counselling as soon as they are needed by children.
A major transformation programme is underway at the moment supported by $200 million of initial new investment in Budget 2016, and this is taking place alongside normal CYF operations which have received an extra $144 million for cost pressures.
Legislation is currently going through Parliament which will raise the age of state care and protection to a young person’s 18th birthday.
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