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A new funding model for social services

12 February, 2008

A new funding model for social services

Our Labour-led government is investing $446 million over the next four years in rolling out a new model for working with community organisations to ensure we achieve the best outcomes for families, children and young people.

This funding model will provide full funding for contracted essential social services delivered by community organisations. They will also receive regular and ongoing funding increases to reflect changes in costs and demand.

By doing this we are moving away from a market-based system where community groups competed against each other for funding contracts.

* The old system encouraged fragmentation, duplication and too much funding to be spent on overheads instead of communities.
* Now we are focusing on early intervention, the outcomes that services deliver, and supporting community groups to work together.

Essential services are those that would need to be provided by the government if a community organisation did not provide them.

* Those services that do not meet the criteria for an essential service, but which contribute towards the greater community good (such as community drop-in centres), will move to grant funding.
* Many of these services have already moved to grants and we’ll continue and accelerate this approach.

Community groups will now have more certainty. By fully funding their contracted services we will give them more ability to plan ahead, attract and retain qualified staff, improve service effectiveness and achieve good outcomes for New Zealand families.

The funding model will not change the vital role that volunteers perform in many community organisations, and donations will continue to be an important fundraising source to support delivery of other services.

New Zealand has a large number of community groups that deliver essential child, young people and family services on behalf of government.

These groups understand their communities and the families who live in them. They play a key role in supporting families early, effectively preventing problems from getting worse. They are the people in the community that vulnerable families go to for help.

The sorts of services this will benefit include:

* Parenting programmes such as Barnardos and FamilyWorks
* Women’s’ refuges and family violence prevention and crisis programmes
* Budgeting advice services
* Mentoring programmes for young people and community programmes to address youth offending
* Victim support

These organisations will remain locally-based and responsive to their communities - but they will have greater confidence and stability on which to base their services. They will spend less time worrying about paying the bills, and more time focusing on outcomes for New Zealanders.


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