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Maharey Congratulates Family And Foster Care Fed

Maharey Congratulates Family And Foster Care Federation On 25 Years Of Service

Congratulations were the order of the day this morning as Social Services and Employment Minister Steve Maharey addressed the Silver Jubliee conference of the New Zealand Family and Foster Care Federation.

The Federation was established in 1976 to provide support and advocacy to the increasing numbers of caregivers in New Zealand. The role of caregivers is enormously important in our society with around 5,000 children currently placed away from their family. Mr Maharey said the Federation was providing an essential support and training role to those looking after some of the most vulnerable children in our society.

"In marking the Federation's silver jubilee it is important that we note how essential the role of caregivers in our society has become.

"However it should be of concern to all of us that the number of children in care continues to rise.

"We must work harder to prevent children coming into care and staying there. Permanency planning, expert social work services, ensuring a supportive legislative framework and a 'children's rights' focus will equip us well to cope better with current and emerging challenges.

"The Government is committed to having skilled, expert, caring, caregivers available for those children and young people who need 'time out' from their family. The additional $5m provided to Child, Youth and Family last December to fund additional care places shows we are acting on this commitment.

"Our challenge over the next year is to work in partnership with the Federation to improve the package of assistance for both children and caregivers," Steve Maharey said.

Ends

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