February 02, 2021
Whanau focus needed for Oranga Tamariki reform
The chief executive of South Island whānau ora agency Te Pūtahitanga says the departure of Oranga Tamiki boss Grainne Moss is a chance for a complete rethink of the role of the child protection agency.
Helen Leahy says the pathway was mapped out in 1988 by the Puao te Ata Tu report which has never been acted on.
She hopes the appointment of interim chief executive Sir Wira Gardiner and a new ministerial advisory board will start to bring the investment in whānau which Māori have called for.
"What we tend to see is we look at all sorts of options like uplifting children and finding placements but if our very first step was to go into whānau homes and say how can we help you be the best parent you can be? What is it you need? Is it financial support? Is it strategies? Is it just having a bit of a break, a bit of respite care from the challenges all our tamariki face, then we would be on a better pathway," Ms Leahy says.
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