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Additional funding announced for Child, Youth and

Additional funding announced for Child, Youth and Family

The government is to provide an additional $12.184m this financial year to Child, Youth and Family and increase its baseline by $13.164m in future years to enable it to respond to increased demand for its services, Social Services and Employment Minister Steve Maharey said today.

Cabinet has agreed to the additional funding following advice that demand for its services is now above the top of range the Department forecast in its 2002/03 Purchase Agreement. In particular a larger number of notifications than expected have been received, more Family Group Conferences are being called and there are a greater number of children in care than expected. Costs have also risen for externally-contracted counselling, therapeutic and other programmes. New funding of $12.184m is being injected this financial year and $13.164m has also been set aside in 2003/04 and outyears.

Steve Maharey said the additional funding recognises the government’s determination to properly resource Child, Youth and Family to keep children and young people safe.

“This Government assigns a high priority to the care and protection of at-risk children and young people. The additional funding secured for Child, Youth and Family will enable it to meet the greater than expected demand now being experienced for its services.

“The need for the resources shows how under funded Child, Youth and Family was in the 1990s. National ran the Department down to such an extent that it was seriously stretched in its core role of providing care and protection services for young people and families at risk – let alone its critical working with communities to solve family problems before they reach crisis point.

“The new funding comes on top of large funding boosts since the Labour-led government was elected in 1999 – including the restoration of $36m in time-limited funding to its baseline in the government’s first budget, a further $5.483m for care services in 2000 and a $216m package to implement Mick Brown’s review in 2001. Taken together, Child, Youth and Family has had its baseline funding increased in excess of 40 percent over the last three years,” Steve Maharey said.

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