December 13, 2016
CYFS reform gathering pace
The reshaping of child protection and state care is proceeding at pace, with parliament last night passing the first reading of the Children, Young Persons, and Their Families (Oranga Tamariki) Legislation Bill.
Social Development Minister Anne Tolley says the current system is not delivering and needs to be completely transformed.
The bill will allow young people to remain in care or return to care up until the age of 21, with transition support and advice available up to 25.
It also extends the youth justice system to include lower-risk 17 year olds
There will be a new framework for agencies to share information on vulberable children.
The purposes and principles of the Child, Youth and Family Act 1989 are being changed to place children and young people at the centre of decision-making.
It will give explicit recognition to key Maori concepts of mana tamaiti / tamariki, whakapapa and whanaungatanga when working with tamariki Maori.
There are specific measures to recognise and reflect a commitment to the principles of the Treaty of Waitangi, including a requirement for the Social Development Ministry to develop strategic partnerships with community organisations, iwi and Maori organisations.
The Maori Party voted against the bill because it removes a provision in the current law that gives priority to placing a Maori child with whanau.
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