Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | Video | Questions Of the Day | Search

 


Serious flaws in youth offending programme

Simon Power

National Party Law & Order Spokesman

10 September 2006

Serious flaws in youth offending programme

There are serious flaws in the implementation of the Government's Youth Offending Strategy Health & Education Assessment Programme, says National's Law & Order spokesman, Simon Power.

The pilot programme provides health and education assessments for young offenders prior to their family group conference (FGC).

"The Government is painting this programme as a success but the reality is quite different."

Mr Power has received a copy of an evaluation report, dated November 2005, under the Official Information Act.

"The report finds that the programme is having a 'positive influence' on some children, and that there have been some 'spectacular improvements' in health and in education participation, and I am delighted about that," he says.

"But for the Associate Minister for Child Youth and Family, Ruth Dyson, to claim it is 'being delivered as intended' is stretching things a little too far, particularly when it comes to its implementation. The report finds a litany of problems in the programme's process."

Among them:
• Only 55 of the expected 400 health assessments, and only 75 of the expected 160 education assessments were completed in 2004/05.
• Many referrals for assessment were being initiated at FGCs, when they were meant to occur beforehand. This meant FGCs needed to be re-convened so health and education needs could be built into offender plans.
• Only 33% of assessment intervention recommendations were fully reflected in FGC plans, and some were 'vague and lack specificity.'
• More eligible children and young people could have been referred to the programme if there was a greater coverage of health and education assessors with the trial region.
• There is confusion among agencies as to whose responsibility it is to fund specific health and education intervention recommendations.
• A lack of appropriate services 'appears to be inhibiting the uptake of assessment recommendations into FGC plans and into the implementation of the plans'.

"The Associate Minister has since revealed to me that in 2005/06, only 227 young offenders received an assessment of any type despite the fact that the pilot area has expanded.

"I'm mystified as to why the pilot would be expanded without ensuring that the services were in place in those areas to actually help these kids with their problems.

"The aims of the programme are commendable, but essentially it's failing to reach enough kids, there aren't enough people to do the assessments, the recommendations from the assessments aren't making it into the FGC plans, and even if they do, there aren't sufficient services available in the community to follow through on them.

"This is more evidence that this Government has allowed youth justice to languish as a poor cousin."

Ends

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

 

Also, Loan Interest: Productivity Commission On Tertiary Education

Key recommendations include better quality control; making it easier for students to transfer between courses; abolishing University Entrance; enabling tertiary institutions to own and control their assets; making it easier for new providers to enter the system; and facilitating more and faster innovation by tertiary education providers... More>>

ALSO:

Higher Payments: Wellington Regional Council Becomes A Living Wage Employer

Councillor Sue Kedgley said she was delighted that the Wellington Regional Council unanimously adopted her motion to become a Living Wage employer, making it the first regional council in New Zealand to do so. More>>

ALSO:

Scoop Images:
Dame Patsy Reddy Sworn In As Governor-General

This morning Dame Patsy Reddy was sworn in as the New Zealand Realm’s 21st Governor-General. The ceremony began with a pōwhiri to welcome Dame Patsy and her husband Sir David Gascoigne to Parliament. More>>

ALSO:

Ruataniwha: DOC, Hawke's Bay Council Developer Take Supreme Court Appeal

The Department of Conservation and Hawke's Bay Regional Investment Company (HBRIC) are appealing to the Supreme Court over a conservation land swap which the Court of Appeal halted. More>>

ALSO:

With NZ's Marama Davidson: Women’s Flotilla Leaves Sicily – Heading For Gaza

Women representing 13 countries spanning five continents began their journey yesterday on Zaytouna-Oliva to the shores of Gaza, which has been under blockade since 2007. On board are a Nobel Peace Laureate, three parliamentarians, a decorated US diplomat, journalists, an Olympic athlete, and a physician. A list of the women with their background can be found here. More>>

Gordon Campbell: On The Key Style Of Crisis Management

At Monday’s post Cabinet press conference Key was in his finest wide- eyed “Problem? What problem?” mode. No, there wasn’t really a problem that top MPI officials had been at odds with each other over the meaning of the fisheries policy and how that policy should be pursued... More>>

ALSO:

Mt Roskill: Greens Will Not Stand In Likely Post-Goff By-Election

“The Green Party’s priority is changing the Government in 2017, and as part of that we’ve decided that we won’t stand a candidate in the probable Mt Roskill by-election... This decision shows the Memorandum of Understanding between Labour and the Green Party is working." More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Parliament
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news