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New leadership for family support services

23 October 2003 Media Statement

New leadership for family support services

The Ministry of Social Development (MSD) is being given the new responsibility of coordinating family support services, Social Development and Employment Minister Steve Maharey said today.

The decision is part of the Government’s response to the Baseline Review of the Department of Child, Youth and Family Services (CYF) that will help CYF to focus on its primary roles of keeping children safe and secure, and preventing youth re-offending. CYF will continue to purchase community services that support keeping children safe. This work will be supported and complemented by MSD’s new role in coordinating broad based family support services across government.

Steve Maharey said it makes good sense to give responsibility for general family support services to the Ministry of Social Development.

“MSD already has a strong platform of family support activity including responsibility for the Strengthening Families Collaborative initiative between the health, education and social service sectors.

“The Ministry will work alongside government and non-government organisations to develop a final proposal for the Group to go to Cabinet in March, with establishment planned for July 2004. Its role will be to work with government and non-government organisations to strengthen family support services and make them more effective for New Zealand families.

“Current funding arrangements for existing family support services will remain in place for the time being.

“MSD will build on existing services and will aim to strengthen, enhance and extend these services to ensure that families at a local level can access good quality well coordinated family services.

“I am confident that MSD’s collaboration with NGOs and other relevant agencies to achieve a more effective and responsive family service sector will not only relieve pressure on CYF but also result in greater practical help for New Zealand families in their communities,” said Steve Maharey.

ENDS

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