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Maharey Speech: Meeting The Social Service Needs

22 March 2002 Speech Notes

Meeting The Social Service Needs For Children And Families

Comments to a government and community agencies focus group on Child, Youth and Family’s Local Services Mapping project. War Memorial Conference Centre, Napier.

Introduction

There are a number of reasons why I am pleased to have been able to make it to this first Local Services Mapping consultation meeting. Your discussion and feedback will help to define how this process will work and the outcomes it will help us to achieve over the next three to five years and beyond.

It joins other substantial projects already underway that aim to enhance relationships with communities and provider organisations, and build on their strength and capacity. This Government’s desire to place decision making and needs assessment closer to the communities that need and use the services supports and drives this work.

A great example is the Stronger Communities Action Fund that is proving very successful in boosting the collaborative approach to work and decision-making in the pilot communities.

Child, Youth and Family has also done a great deal to improve funding processes by reducing associated compliance costs for community social service providers, and by establishing multi-year contracts. And through the development of their New Directions programme they have identified building relationships with communities as a key success strategy.

Local Services Mapping is itself one of 24 New Directions projects and aims to see the Department join with communities to:

- better respond to the needs of children, young people and families;

- develop fairer and more open funding arrangements;

- better combine statutory and non-statutory services and shift the focus towards preventative work;

- better align government and community social services for children and families; and,

- and help Jackie Pivac in her statutory role as CE to promote cooperation between those organisations that provide services for children, young people and families.

The impetus is coming strongly from the community, as you’ll know. Around the country the message has been clearly presented. You want to forge stronger relationships with Child, Youth and Family, and you have sought, actively and for some time, to work more collaboratively with the Department. We heard this message last year with the release of Mick Brown’s report on Child, Youth and Family and in the report of the Community and Voluntary Sector Working Party. It was also conveyed through the Future Search conferences and the capability and capacity study that many of you contributed to late last year.

We’re all in agreement that it needs to happen more and I’m pleased to say that Local Services Mapping is a real and substantial way in which it can be achieved.

At this point, however, I want to stress that this isn’t about replacing existing networks and alliances. Local Services Mapping is about strengthening them, and building on them.

Hawke’s Bay work to date

The Hawke’s Bay community has already done a significant amount of collaborative planning and needs assessment. I particularly want to acknowledge work you’ve done to date on ways to collaboratively address the needs of children and families. I believe that a Pilot workshop was held in September 2001 called “Building relationships that work’. There have been some significant changes to relationships between community providers and Child, Youth and Family colleagues, with shared morning teas and lunches, informal information sharing, reciprocal placements of social workers from community into the Department and vice versa and also opportunities for joint training.

It is my understanding that this process was developed with representatives from community and the Department who formed a guiding coalition to ensure that the process was designed and developed with a partnership approach. The work is continuing between the community and Child, Youth and Family and it is anticipated that the building of stronger more successful relationships will be ongoing.

Last year’s funding planning process by Child, Youth and Family also yielded some interesting results. During that consultation you identified a number of key issues. You said more people with skills in dealing with complex family problems were needed. Problems with attracting and retaining volunteer workers were raised. This community said it wanted the skills and resources to offer more holistic responses to social issues, especially those faced by young people such as mental health, struggles with the education system and drug and alcohol abuse.

The Pacific community shared its concerns over what they felt to be a lack of funding to meet their needs, and Iwi and other Maori providers in the region explained they felt the need to develop closer relationships amongst themselves.

That consultation helped the Department to negotiate funding agreements with 48 service providers in this area for a wide range of social service to children, young people, families and communities.

There’s no doubt this is a strong community, one that is determined to make a difference for its people, and to build its own capacity to do this. But, even with your strength and determination through working collaboratively with Child, Youth and Family and other organisations, I’ve no doubt the issues you highlighted last year remain current today, and there will be more that many of you could share with us today.

What is Local Services Mapping

All of this means you are well placed to work with Child, Youth and Family to develop local services mapping.

As a starting point, you join Waitakere City, South Auckland, Tauranga, Nelson and Christchurch as areas where consultation meetings are being held. And, I trust that your interest and involvement will extend into Hawke’s Bay being one of the pilot areas where Local Services Mapping will begin later this year, after community feedback has been incorporated into the process.

As you will have realised, community support for this is critical, and that’s why I’m delighted to see so many people from a range of organisations throughout the Hawke’s Bay attending this meeting.

It’s an interesting choice in name, the use of the word “mapping’ in particular. When “mapping’ is done it can be to achieve a range of things. One could be creating a record of what is already in an area, or could be planning a detailed route of how to get somewhere. Alongside this, maps regularly contain an indication of major developments that will soon come into being.

Mapping is done in consultation with a wide range of people and organisations and, ultimately, all of this is done because there is a need to know the information.

That’s exactly what this process is about. Communities are being invited to work with Child, Youth and Family to create a “map’ of what is already there - both the current needs and the services that are already being provided.

There is a further step, where future developments to meet the needs of the area are agreed. There will be mutual agreements on funding, what services will be provided, accountability and information sharing to ensure needs are met.

And through this process and beyond, consultation and evaluation will remain a strong component, ensuring the map remains useful and current.

Who is involved

Ultimately, however, for the mapping to be successful it must work for - and fit with - the communities, organisations and groups around the country that provide services and support. You must be confident that it will work, and Child, Youth and Family has expressed their commitment to working with you to make sure that happens.

And it’s good to see that the mapping process has been designed to ensure consultation is wide ranging. It will involve:

- iwi and Maori, Pacific and community providers

- local government

- other funder organisations such as COGS and community trusts

- Child, Youth and Family staff, Care and Protection Resource Panel members, Police and healthcare providers will also be involved.

- and client groups - children, young people and families, or their advocates - will have a voice in this process too.

But before that happens, the discussions and feedback from this and the other consultation meetings, and the submissions that will be sent to Child, Youth and Family will help to build the Local Services Mapping framework.

Conclusion

And because ultimately, your feedback will help to create the final shape of Local Services Mapping, my questions to you are:

- What do you think of the current proposal?

- What gaps or issues do you see within it?

- How can it be enhanced?

- And most importantly, what do we need to know to make sure it will work in your community?

There are some thoughts I’d like to leave with you as you begin this meeting:

- this Government is committed to moving decision making closer to communities, because that is where the people most affected by decision making are;

- your thoughts and ideas about how we make this happen are important;

- Child, Youth and Family has clearly stated its commitment to working with you to build stronger community-based services and systems to support people at a local level;

- this is about building what is already in your community, not replacing it; and,

- the spinoff from this will be increased knowledge and skills at both a community level and amongst government agencies, and better results for those who need them.

Our commitment to building the strength of this nation springs from the recognition that it is the actions we take, or fail to take, today that will create this country’s future.

Through this process we have the chance to plot a course that will lead us where we need to go. We want positive outcomes for our children, our families and our communities. The journey to get there will be an exciting and challenging one, and will be greatly enhanced by you being a part of it with us.

ends

22 March 2002 Speech Notes

Meeting The Social Service Needs For Children And Families

Comments to a government and community agencies focus group on Child, Youth and Family’s Local Services Mapping project. War Memorial Conference Centre, Napier.

Introduction

There are a number of reasons why I am pleased to have been able to make it to this first Local Services Mapping consultation meeting. Your discussion and feedback will help to define how this process will work and the outcomes it will help us to achieve over the next three to five years and beyond.

It joins other substantial projects already underway that aim to enhance relationships with communities and provider organisations, and build on their strength and capacity. This Government’s desire to place decision making and needs assessment closer to the communities that need and use the services supports and drives this work.

A great example is the Stronger Communities Action Fund that is proving very successful in boosting the collaborative approach to work and decision-making in the pilot communities.

Child, Youth and Family has also done a great deal to improve funding processes by reducing associated compliance costs for community social service providers, and by establishing multi-year contracts. And through the development of their New Directions programme they have identified building relationships with communities as a key success strategy.

Local Services Mapping is itself one of 24 New Directions projects and aims to see the Department join with communities to:

- better respond to the needs of children, young people and families;

- develop fairer and more open funding arrangements;

- better combine statutory and non-statutory services and shift the focus towards preventative work;

- better align government and community social services for children and families; and,

- and help Jackie Pivac in her statutory role as CE to promote cooperation between those organisations that provide services for children, young people and families.

The impetus is coming strongly from the community, as you’ll know. Around the country the message has been clearly presented. You want to forge stronger relationships with Child, Youth and Family, and you have sought, actively and for some time, to work more collaboratively with the Department. We heard this message last year with the release of Mick Brown’s report on Child, Youth and Family and in the report of the Community and Voluntary Sector Working Party. It was also conveyed through the Future Search conferences and the capability and capacity study that many of you contributed to late last year.

We’re all in agreement that it needs to happen more and I’m pleased to say that Local Services Mapping is a real and substantial way in which it can be achieved.

At this point, however, I want to stress that this isn’t about replacing existing networks and alliances. Local Services Mapping is about strengthening them, and building on them.

Hawke’s Bay work to date

The Hawke’s Bay community has already done a significant amount of collaborative planning and needs assessment. I particularly want to acknowledge work you’ve done to date on ways to collaboratively address the needs of children and families. I believe that a Pilot workshop was held in September 2001 called “Building relationships that work’. There have been some significant changes to relationships between community providers and Child, Youth and Family colleagues, with shared morning teas and lunches, informal information sharing, reciprocal placements of social workers from community into the Department and vice versa and also opportunities for joint training.

It is my understanding that this process was developed with representatives from community and the Department who formed a guiding coalition to ensure that the process was designed and developed with a partnership approach. The work is continuing between the community and Child, Youth and Family and it is anticipated that the building of stronger more successful relationships will be ongoing.

Last year’s funding planning process by Child, Youth and Family also yielded some interesting results. During that consultation you identified a number of key issues. You said more people with skills in dealing with complex family problems were needed. Problems with attracting and retaining volunteer workers were raised. This community said it wanted the skills and resources to offer more holistic responses to social issues, especially those faced by young people such as mental health, struggles with the education system and drug and alcohol abuse.

The Pacific community shared its concerns over what they felt to be a lack of funding to meet their needs, and Iwi and other Maori providers in the region explained they felt the need to develop closer relationships amongst themselves.

That consultation helped the Department to negotiate funding agreements with 48 service providers in this area for a wide range of social service to children, young people, families and communities.

There’s no doubt this is a strong community, one that is determined to make a difference for its people, and to build its own capacity to do this. But, even with your strength and determination through working collaboratively with Child, Youth and Family and other organisations, I’ve no doubt the issues you highlighted last year remain current today, and there will be more that many of you could share with us today.

What is Local Services Mapping

All of this means you are well placed to work with Child, Youth and Family to develop local services mapping.

As a starting point, you join Waitakere City, South Auckland, Tauranga, Nelson and Christchurch as areas where consultation meetings are being held. And, I trust that your interest and involvement will extend into Hawke’s Bay being one of the pilot areas where Local Services Mapping will begin later this year, after community feedback has been incorporated into the process.

As you will have realised, community support for this is critical, and that’s why I’m delighted to see so many people from a range of organisations throughout the Hawke’s Bay attending this meeting.

It’s an interesting choice in name, the use of the word “mapping’ in particular. When “mapping’ is done it can be to achieve a range of things. One could be creating a record of what is already in an area, or could be planning a detailed route of how to get somewhere. Alongside this, maps regularly contain an indication of major developments that will soon come into being.

Mapping is done in consultation with a wide range of people and organisations and, ultimately, all of this is done because there is a need to know the information.

That’s exactly what this process is about. Communities are being invited to work with Child, Youth and Family to create a “map’ of what is already there - both the current needs and the services that are already being provided.

There is a further step, where future developments to meet the needs of the area are agreed. There will be mutual agreements on funding, what services will be provided, accountability and information sharing to ensure needs are met.

And through this process and beyond, consultation and evaluation will remain a strong component, ensuring the map remains useful and current.

Who is involved

Ultimately, however, for the mapping to be successful it must work for - and fit with - the communities, organisations and groups around the country that provide services and support. You must be confident that it will work, and Child, Youth and Family has expressed their commitment to working with you to make sure that happens.

And it’s good to see that the mapping process has been designed to ensure consultation is wide ranging. It will involve:

- iwi and Maori, Pacific and community providers

- local government

- other funder organisations such as COGS and community trusts

- Child, Youth and Family staff, Care and Protection Resource Panel members, Police and healthcare providers will also be involved.

- and client groups - children, young people and families, or their advocates - will have a voice in this process too.

But before that happens, the discussions and feedback from this and the other consultation meetings, and the submissions that will be sent to Child, Youth and Family will help to build the Local Services Mapping framework.

Conclusion

And because ultimately, your feedback will help to create the final shape of Local Services Mapping, my questions to you are:

- What do you think of the current proposal?

- What gaps or issues do you see within it?

- How can it be enhanced?

- And most importantly, what do we need to know to make sure it will work in your community?

There are some thoughts I’d like to leave with you as you begin this meeting:

- this Government is committed to moving decision making closer to communities, because that is where the people most affected by decision making are;

- your thoughts and ideas about how we make this happen are important;

- Child, Youth and Family has clearly stated its commitment to working with you to build stronger community-based services and systems to support people at a local level;

- this is about building what is already in your community, not replacing it; and,

- the spinoff from this will be increased knowledge and skills at both a community level and amongst government agencies, and better results for those who need them.

Our commitment to building the strength of this nation springs from the recognition that it is the actions we take, or fail to take, today that will create this country’s future.

Through this process we have the chance to plot a course that will lead us where we need to go. We want positive outcomes for our children, our families and our communities. The journey to get there will be an exciting and challenging one, and will be greatly enhanced by you being a part of it with us.

ends

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