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New $90.5m fund for social sector transformation

New $90.5m fund for social sector transformation

Building on the success of its Community Response Fund, the Government has put $90.5 million over the next four years into a transformation fund for Non-Government Organisations to deliver extra high-quality services.

”It's a huge win and reflects our focus on redirecting every last cent of unallocated money into higher priority services,” Social Development Minister Paula Bennett says. “Working closely with the sector, we felt it was important for this money to go into the new fund.”

The first part of the two-stage fund will provide money for social sector NGOs to move towards integrated service delivery, remove duplication, merge back room functions, improve skills training and share best practice.

Organisations demonstrating they have met criteria for excellence can apply to the new Quality Services Fund, which will address gaps in delivery, encourage collaboration and support new high quality, innovative services.

“This is another significant step towards redefining the relationship between the Government and the NGO sector,” Ms Bennett says.

“Traditional funding models have tended to set social service providers against each other, rather than encouraging collaboration which is what our communities really need. We believe this model will help to change that, by encouraging best practise and innovation.”

In addition, the Budget provides a funding boost for services for teenage parents – the largest social development investment this group has seen.

“New Zealand has high teen pregnancy rates, but support resources are limited. Many live in unsafe environments, in over crowded or dilapidated housing. We are determined to support these young parents,” Ms Bennett says.

The Government is investing $14.9 million over the next four years in services for teenage parents. These services will include seven supported homes with trained staff providing 24/7 supervision.

The role of teen parent coordinators will be expanded and staff numbers boosted from nine to 19 to help teens stay in work or education, get antenatal care, budgeting and parenting advice.

Services will focus directly on teen fathers, providing support and recognising the positive role they can have in their children's lives.

Further initiatives concentrate on the Government's priority of preventing the abuse and neglect of children, with a funding boost of $6.6 million over the next four years, including increasing in the number of Social Workers in hospitals from six to 16.

“We are not taking our focus off improving the quality of our spending,” Ms Bennett says. “Every dollar directed into higher priority programmes means we can buy more effective services with the potential to make a real difference in our communities.”

ENDS




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