August 02, 2020
Oranga Tamariki looks to iwi for early intervention
The top Māori in Oranga Tamariki says resourcing iwi and Māori organisations is critical to the agency’s future.
Hoani Lambert, the child protection agency’s deputy chief executive, says it is taking to heart the criticisms raised a last week’s Waitangi Tribunal hearing about policies such as uplifting babies.
A progress report it released last week on Section 7AA of its updated Act, which requires it to focus on reducing disparities for tamariki and rangatahi Māori, fewer Māori children in care and a drop in the number of Māori babies coming into care.
He says it has formed strategic partnerships with four iwi, which allow them to fulfil their whakapapa and whanaungatanga responsibilities to whānau.
"For some that does involve delegating care responsibilities. For others, though there is much more of a drive around early intervention and the agency supporting and resourcing them to work with whanau much earlier so they don’t need to come into care in the first place," Mr Lambert says.
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