Commissioner welcomes Budget support for families
Families Commissioner welcomes Budget support for families and vulnerable children
The Families Commissioner Belinda Milnes is welcoming new spending of $500 million in today’s Budget to support the well-being of young families and vulnerable children.
Belinda Milnes says, “These announcements are warmly welcomed, especially as they fall on the International Day of Families.
“Families and whānau are the heart of our communities and country. It’s critical that we invest in their well-being to enable them to be to be effective and carry out the key functions we rely on them to do.”
Commission research has identified that family well-being is made up of four components: physical health and safety, supportive family relationships, economic security and being connected to their community.
Ms Milnes says, “It’s pleasing to see this range of Budget initiatives today which will support family health and economic security.
“I welcome the extension of paid parental leave and increased eligibility. Investing in parental leave supports parents during this time and helps build a strong bond between parents and child, which has a long-term benefit for the family and community.
“The Commission supports the roll out of a further eight new Children’s Teams around the country. Through our research we know that the Teams are an effective way to help identify and work with vulnerable children and their families.”
“The extension of free doctors’ visits and prescriptions to those under 13, at any time of the day or night, means all children can get the care they need, when they need it.”
Other measures to support families include increased funding in early childhood education, increased tax credits, and financial support for counselling services in Canterbury.
"These measures recognise that investing in families now is critical to their future social, health, education and economic success,” says Ms Milnes.