June 21, 2018
Power battle over tamariki in care
The president of the Māori Women's Welfare League says reducing the number of children in care will require Ōranga Tamariki to give up some of its power over whānau Māori.
Children's Minister Tracey Martin told a select committee today having 6000 children in care was too many, and she wants to reduce that number through intensive intervention that can keep children in their homes.
Prue Kapua says the league has a history of working with families, and it's the sort of organisation the agency should turn to rather than try to do everything itself.
"It means for those who hold positions in an organisation like Ōranga Tamariki there's a need to step back and there's a need to let go some of that control and power and recognise there are others who might have better knowledge and insight on how to deal with these issues because the bottom line is we haven't got it right for a very very long time," she says.
Ms Kapua says past attempts to change the system, like Puao Te Ata Tū, have fallen short because of resistance from the social welfare bureaucracy.
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