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Commitment to Children’s Action Plan Continues

Commitment to Children’s Action Plan Continues

Paula Bennett

Minister for Social Development

Chair of Ministerial Oversight Group

for the Children’s Action Plan

16 May 2013

The Government is committed to protecting vulnerable children through the Children’s Action Plan, Chair of the Ministerial Oversight Group Paula Bennett says.

“The Children’s Action Plan is bigger than politics and is not only for this generation of New Zealand children, but their children and their grandchildren.”

The Children’s Action Plan comes from the Government White Paper, which includes more than 40 initiatives to better protect children who have been abused or maltreated, and those at the greatest risk of maltreatment. 

Implementing the Children’s Action Plan is a government priority, requiring new ways of working across agencies, including the establishment of Children’s Teams to bring together professionals at a local level.

“I’m so impressed with the way government agencies are working together on the Children’s Action Plan and making real progress,” Mrs Bennett says.

“Children’s teams are already forming in Whangarei and Rotorua, with huge progress on the ground. Communities, iwi and local government are all contributing to the design and implementation of the children’s teams and I thank them for their hard work.

“This is an example of how the Children’s Action Plan is more about having the will to change how agencies work together, and less about simply spending money.”

The Government is driving an extensive programme of reforms to reduce child abuse and neglect in New Zealand.

Budget 2013 funding will support milestones in 2013/14 covering:

Developing a Children’s Workforce Action Plan, as well as a Working with Children Code of Practice and competencies, to implement new screening and vetting processes and training programmes.

Promoting mentoring and establishing a scholarship fund for children.

Child Harm Prevention Orders for individuals who pose a risk to children.

Predictive risk tools that will help find, assess and connect the most vulnerable children to services earlier and more effectively.

Service design for the Child Protect Line, for the public to report concerns.

Cross-agency care strategy to improve the outcomes for children in care, and support for children and young people transitioning out of care.

Two regional children’s directors to provide regional leadership and a national children’s director to provide national leadership, and the Children’s Action Plan directorate to oversee the implementation of the Children’s Action Plan.

Two children’s teams in Rotorua and Whangarei, including intake processes to test the new early response system.

“The Government has set aside $13.7 million in operating funding over four years, and $3 million in capital funding in 2013/14 to deliver on the Children’s Action Plan milestones,” Mrs Bennett says.

Of this, $6.7 million has been contributed from Vote Health over four years towards the cost of implementing the Children’s Action Plan.

“By taking a radically different approach through the Children’s Action Plan, we will make a difference by better protecting children,” Mrs Bennett says.

“This is a chance for New Zealanders to work together – communities, iwi, the Government, professionals and families – for our children.”

ENDS

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