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Supporting at-risk children and families

Hon Steve Maharey
Minister of Social Services and Employment

Hon Tariana Turia
Associate Minister of Social Services and Employment (Social Services)


15 June 2000


Supporting at-risk children and families

Extra social workers, more money for Mäori to help Mäori and better resources to tackle youth crime are features of a significant funding package for the Department of Child, Youth and Family Services, Social Services and Employment Ministers Steve Maharey and Tariana Turia said today.

CYFS will receive an extra $36 million in Year One, increasing to around $40 million by Year Four.

“The increase reflects the Government’s determination to build up the Department’s capacity to deal more effectively with at-risk children and families.

“The extra 22 social workers will allow Child, Youth and Family to be more responsive to the community’s needs, and will mean more money for Mäori social services providers.

“The $36 million comprises $8.8 million in new funding and $27.2 million of previously contingent or time-limited funding. The previous government left the Department in a very vulnerable financial position which we have worked hard to turn around by agreeing to one of the biggest increases in baseline for any government department.

New money in Year One includes:
 $3.5 million extra for Iwi and Mäori provider workforce development [including Iwi social services]
 $2.7 million extra for family group conference outcomes
 $1.1 million for family violence prevention, including women’s refuge services
 A $1 million fund to support new Mäori initiatives to reduce Mäori youth offending
 $500,000 to help develop Pacific peoples social services providers

“Significant new resources will assist in building the capacity of Mäori social services organisations.

“A total of $3.5 million worth of Iwi and Mäori provider workforce development money will help Mäori social service providers access training, infrastructure and set-up funding. There will be an innovations fund to help provide new services
designed by Mäori for Mäori, as well as new cash to help develop Pacific Islands social services.

"Child, Youth and Family will also administer the new $1 million Mäori youth contestable fund for Mäori initiatives specifically aimed at reducing Mäori youth offending. The fund will increase to $3 million in following years.

“This initiative, coupled with confirmation of $9.9 million in Year One increasing to $10.5 million a year thereafter, for expansion of the Department’s previously announced Youth Services Strategy, is designed specifically to tackle youth crime and get young offenders back on track,” said Mr Maharey.

The $2.7 million in extra funding for Family Group Conferences will assist at risk children to get the services and support they need. This funding will increase to $4.3 million in following years.

Mr Maharey said an improved performance by Child, Youth and Family was also a factor in securing the $27.2 million of contingent or time-limited funding now being included in the Department’s baseline.

Other services this money will provide, besides paying for extra social workers, are:
 a national call centre to streamline the processing of notifications, and
 the expansion of the Youth Services Strategy programmes aimed at repeat youth offenders.

“I now look forward to receiving later this year the reviews of the Department’s child referral, notification and placement procedures being carried out by former judge Mick Brown to see if there are further areas that can be improved upon,” said Mr Maharey.

ENDS

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