Coalition urges sustained commitment to children
Media release from Every Child Counts
1000 days to get it right for every child: Coalition urges sustained commitment to children
In a joint oral submission to the Health Select Committee inquiry into preventing child abuse and improving child health today, Every Child Counts* and Plunket called for sustained, cross-party commitment to policies for children, along with universal services and a Children’s Action Plan for all children.
“The Health Select Committee inquiry is an important opportunity to focus on preventing child abuse by improving the social and economic determinants of wellbeing – including poverty - and enabling communities and families to improve child safety,” says Deborah Morris-Travers, Manager of Every Child Counts.
“We have recommended that parliament and government provide leadership that changes attitudes towards children, and achieves cross-party agreement on a baseline of policies and investment in children that is sustained beyond the three-year parliamentary term.
“We also reiterated the call we have jointly made with 72 other agencies in the “What Will it Take?” briefing paper released by UNICEF NZ today, that a Children’s Action Plan emerging from the government’s White Paper should ensure the wellbeing of all New Zealand children. Public investment in children is low compared with other OECD countries and we highlighted to the Select Committee the high return on effective investment in children in the early years.
“Members of Parliament showed interest in taking an investment approach to children and reducing the current spend of $8bn per annum arising from poor outcomes for children through improved care of children and practical measures like a child health database that would enable better identification of those children missing out on the services and care they are entitled to,” concludes Ms Morris-Travers.
*Every Child Counts is a coalition of organisations and individuals working to improve the status and wellbeing of NZ children, driven by Barnardos, Plunket, UNICEF, Save the Children, and Ririki. www.everychildcounts.org.nz
NOTE TO EDITORS: The 2nd event in the Every Child Counts-BusinessNZ discussion series – The business of nurturing children- takes place at Te Papa at 7pm tonight. The discussion will explore the practical things businesses can do to improve life for children and is open to media and the public.