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Major Stocktake Of Social Services Begins In July

Major Stocktake Of Social Services To Begin In July

A major stocktake of the country’s ability to provide social services for children and families is to get underway this year, Social Services and Employment Minister Steve Maharey announced today.

Coordinated by Child, Youth and Family, the Local Services Mapping project aims to match services provided by government and community agencies with local needs community-by-community across the country over a three-year period. Focus group meetings to discuss the project are being held in Napier, West and South Auckland, Christchurch, Tauranga and Nelson and a consultation document has also been distributed widely as part of the initial work.

Over seventy government agencies and community partners have been invited to the first focus group meeting in Napier this morning to discuss the project. Steve Maharey told the meeting that every part of New Zealand would take part in the stocktake at a local level over a three-year period.

“We all need to work together closely to build strong communities which will protect at-risk children better. It’s everybody’s responsibility to keep them safe.

“The local services mapping project will help Child, Youth and Family, other state agencies and local communities to identify what is needed for the future. The project is a further element of the department’s New Directions strategy to implement the findings of Mick Brown’s review of Child, Youth and Family.

“We expect that the stocktake and planning processes will help generate community-based solutions to community problems and ensure that locally provided services best meet local needs. It will also assist better co-ordination of the way services are provided by various agencies.

“The Local Services Mapping project involves five key stages:

- completing a stocktake of local social service needs and current service provision for children and young people with social services and youth justice needs;

- developing a shared vision for responding to the identified needs;

- planning responses including time frames, roles and responsibilities;

. . / 2

- making practical agreements so that funding, service provision and accountability and information sharing arrangements all work to achieve a shared vision; and,

- reviewing outcomes to determine whether plans and agreements need to be refined.

“After the stocktake period, local services mapping will involve writing a local plan in each area, planning on which services will help to achieve that vision and establishing agreements on how to proceed.

“This is an important opportunity for everyone involved in delivering social services to families and children to move forward together in a collaborative way. At the end of the day it’s about ensuring New Zealand remains a great place for all kids to grow up in,” said Steve Maharey.

Feedback on the consultation document and information from the focus groups will help Child, Youth and Family plan the full nationwide local services mapping process, which is due to get underway in July and will take three years to fully implement across the country.

ends

The Local Services Mapping consultation document can be downloaded from Steve Maharey’s website at www.executive.govt.nz/minister/maharey/.

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