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Almost $80m invested in children and families

Almost $80m invested in children and families

For the third year in a row the government has invested additional funding in community organisations working with children and young people and their families.

A report detailing the $78.9m in funding provided to over 900 service providers for the year ended 30 June 2002 was tabled in Parliament this week. The report details the Government’s continued investment in the social service sector.

Social Services and Employment Minister Steve Maharey said funding allocations for the year just ended focused on responding to the needs identified by communities during consultation meetings run by Child, Youth and Family.

“The Government can't solve community problems alone. By working in partnership with a myriad of community agencies across the country we are able to target specialised services to those most in need and support the development of locally-generated solutions to local problems.

“Key initiatives the government funded in the last financial year include: initiatives to help prevent youth suicide, $700,000; Mäori community initiatives for youth at risk of offending, $599,000; wraparound services, $950,000; funding to compensate providers for cost increases, $3,800,000; and, Family Service Centres, $1,733,000.

“In the financial year now underway (1 July 2002 to 30 June 2003) the government has further increased the funding available to community organisations working with children and young people and their families. A total of $86.587m will be available. Decisions on how this funding is to be allocated will be taken shortly and will take into account consultation with communities on the needs they themselves identify as most pressing.

Steve Maharey said the Government is also helping community organisations cut through red tape so that they can spend more of their time and resources helping clients.

“New arrangements have been introduced to help cut the costs organisations face in complying with the terms of their contracts with Child, Youth and Family. These include multi-year contracts and simplification of contract arrangements.

“The Government is committed to building stronger families and strong communities and the funding allocations detailed today and planned increased investment this year will enable a wide range of services targeted at young people to be enhanced,” Steve Maharey said.

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