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Brown Report Provides Clarity For Future

Brown Report Provides Clarity For Future

Child, Youth and Family chief executive Jackie Brown says she wants the Brown report, released today, to be “the catalyst for a really focused, community-wide effort to strengthen the way we work together to protect vulnerable young New Zealanders”.

“This report matches many of the expectations we hold for ourselves and it will certainly help clarify the department’s future direction,” says Jackie Brown.

The report, Care and Protection is about Adult Behaviour, includes the findings and recommendations from Mr Mick Brown’s review of Child, Youth and Family’s procedures for referral of cases, care and protection notification and placing children and young people in care.

“The report has some very clear and frank messages from Mr Brown and the many groups and individuals who made submissions, ourselves included. We acknowledge the legitimate criticisms within the report and the problems he identifies, but we are also very proud of the extremely positive comments that have been made about Child, Youth and Family’s work with at-risk children and young people.

“The challenge now is to use the report to crystallise our plans for the future. We’ll be working with Government to implement its suggestions and are finalising a detailed action plan to implement all the Brown report recommendations. Implementation of the report’s key recommendations is largely dependent on 2001 Budget decisions so this plan will not be publicly available until the Budget has been presented.

“We’ll also work closely with our community partners to continue improving services provided to at-risk children and young people.

“Child, Youth and Family has already introduced changes that will help address some of the problem areas and work on addressing other issues is currently underway,” says Jackie Brown.

These include:
* Establishing 38 practice manager positions around the country focusing on professional leadership and management support for frontline social workers.
* Addressing unallocated case numbers by considering the further redirection of resources to areas where there is the most need and improving management oversight of workloads.
* Working on ways to better recruit, retain and train social workers.
* More emphasis on ensuring that Child, Youth and Family’s involvement in any case leads to good, long-term results for at-risk children and young people.
* Studying how Child, Youth and Family and community providers can work together most effectively to protect and support vulnerable children, young persons and their families.

“There is a significant amount of detailed work to get through before all the improvements we seek can be implemented,” says Jackie Brown.

“But Child, Youth and Family is determined to get through it as quickly and as effectively as possible so we can improve outcomes for the children and young people who need our services.”

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