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Social services map identifies priority issues

9 June 2006

Social services map identifies priority issues

A community report, which maps social services in the Gore district, was launched today by Minister of Social Development David Benson-Pope.

The report identifies four key priorities for Gore, as well as strengths and gaps of social services throughout the district.

“The purpose of Local Services Mapping is to build on what’s already happening, to examine how we can do it better,” Mr Benson-Pope said.

"Since Labour came to office we've had tremendous success in moving people off benefits and into work, with a third fewer people in Gore on benefits today than 1999. But moving people into work and out of poverty is just one aspect of a successful community."

Information for the report was gathered from a range of sources including surveys, public meetings and tapping into local networks.

Four ongoing priorities have been identified for attention for Gore. They are:

- to provide more opportunities for young people in Gore
- to provide more parenting education programmes, and improve services for children with special education needs
- to lift Maori income levels; and
- to develop programmes to encourage healthy lifestyles

“Work to address these priorities is well advanced,” said Mr Benson-Pope.

A Seasonal Careers programme for young people, delivered by Work and Income Enterprising Communities, is opening up work opportunities. An education and training programme for at-risk families will be financially supported out of a Ministry of Social Development grants fund. The multi-agency project Dismantle the Trail of Disadvantage, is addressing health, education, and family issues for young people in the region.

Using the information in the Community Plan strategies will be developed to address gaps in services for Gore families.

Local Services Mapping is a partnership between the Ministry of Social Development’s Family and Community Services, the Community Networking Trust and the Gore District Council.

ENDS

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