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Auckland City Council – first to back children

Auckland City Council – first to back children

The Auckland City Council is the first local authority in the country to join the “Every Child Counts” project, which seeks to promote the interests of children in policy decisions.

“Every Child Counts” is a coalition of groups and individuals that aims to stimulate debate about the importance of children to New Zealand’s economic and social development.

The chairperson of Auckland City’s Community Development and Equity Committee, Cathy Casey, says it’s important for local authorities to consider the interests of children.

“The Auckland City Council is thrilled to be the first council in the country to join “Every Child Counts”. This council is committed to listening to children so it can make decisions which will genuinely improve their lives,” she says.

A spokesperson for “Every Child Counts”, Dr Emma Davies, welcomes the council’s backing.

”This kind of support from councils and other prominent organisations is hugely important because they play a pivotal role in policy development. We see this as a very significant endorsement,” she says.

Dr Casey says the council has already launched a draft child and family policy, which encourages councillors and officers to consider children’s needs in all council activities.

She says belonging to “Every Child Counts” serves to reinforce this commitment to children.

Groups that belong to “Every Child Counts” pledge to consider children’s interests in a bid to reduce child abuse, poverty and neglect and to give all children a good start in life.

“The council wants to do all it can for children in its areas of responsibility. These include providing a safe environment for children, encouraging them to be healthy and active, and listening to and working with children.

“In those areas where the council does not have responsibility, it will aim to be an advocate for the city’s children to ensure they are properly cared for. This could involve lobbying in areas such as family support services or child protection,” Dr Casey says.

The council’s draft child and family policy, Growing Up Together, is now out for consultation and people have until 24 June to comment on the document. For more information on the draft policy, please go to www.aucklandcity.govt.nz/childandfamily.


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