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Community Funding Decisions Announced

Child, Youth and Family will on Monday begin informing community social services providers how much funding they will receive from the department in the next financial year.

The department administers about $70 million worth of funding to community providers annually. Some $27 million is ring-fenced for specific national programmes.

However, last year an extensive consultation exercise with providers and other stakeholders was undertaken to help decide how best to allocate the other $43 million of baseline funding.

National manager of community funding Marti Eller says Child, Youth and Family wanted to get a clear steer on whether communities had changed their priorities in terms of the types of services they wanted funded.

“The consultation exercise showed much of the funding was going where the community wanted it to.

“But, as a result of the consultation, we’ve increased funding for specialist services to at-risk children and their families with complex issues, such as family violence, by: $831,000 to whole-family services; $165,000 for services to young people; and $67,000 for qualified counselling to clients, including adults.

“Also, iwi social services and Maori providers will receive more than $450,000 extra, as their capacity to provide services has grown.”

Ms Eller says the $70 million worth of funding to community providers shows how important they are in dealing with child abuse, neglect and problem behaviours.

“There’s no way Child, Youth and Family can do it all by itself. Community providers play a key role in helping ensure at-risk children and young people get the help they need.”

A question and answer sheet follows:



1. What role does Child, Youth and Family have?
Child, Youth and Family administers funding of $70 million a year which goes to community-based providers of social services, ranging from counselling services to violence prevention programmes. Child, Youth and Family is responsible for the provision of services detailed under law in the Children, Young Persons and Their Families Act (eg, child abuse investigations). But community providers have a clear role to play in providing non-statutory services.

3. Why does Child, Youth and Family administer funding?
The funding of community providers used to be carried out by the Community Funding Agency (CFA), a sister agency to the former Children, Young Persons and Their Families Service (CYPFS) under the old Department of Social Welfare. CFA and CYPFS were merged to help ensure tight co-ordination between state and state-funded community-based services for at-risk children and their families. The merged CFA/CYPFS structure remained intact when the new Department of Child, Youth and Family Services was established in 1999.

5. How is funding allocated?
Child, Youth and Family studies demand for services in local communities and negotiates contracts with providers to deliver these types of services. Contracts are monitored closely by Child, Youth and Family to ensure providers deliver services to a satisfactory standard. Community providers funded by Child, Youth and Family range from big national organisations like Women’s Refuge and Barnardos through to small local operations.

7. What advantage is there to this way of funding community-based services?
Child, Youth and Family is a state agency which concentrates on the sharpest end of social work services, such as responding to allegations of child abuse and neglect. However, there are many individuals and groups in the community who have the skills and energy to help in the area of non-statutory social services. The government effectively taps into these skills and energy by funding community providers.

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