Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | News Video | Crime | Employers | Housing | Immigration | Legal | Local Govt. | Maori | Welfare | Unions | Youth | Search

 

State of Care 2016: move to child-centred culture now

For immediate release:

State of Care 2016: move to child-centred culture must begin now

“When I walk down the street I see families walking along, laughing, happy, and it is hard knowing that I don’t have a family like that”. – Child in non-kin fostercare.

Moving to a more child-centred culture within Child, Youth and Family can and must start now if we want to see better outcomes for children currently in careand build a strong platform for the reforms to come, says Children’s Commissioner Dr Russell Wills.

This is a key theme of his Office’s second annual public report on the service Child, Youth and Family provides to our most vulnerable children.

The State of Care 2016 report is a summary of findings and recommendations from the Office of the Children’s Commissioner’s independent monitoring ofChild, Youth and Family.

The report suggests that while the up-coming reforms of the care and protection and youth justice systems have great potential, the children currently in the system need to receive more child-centred services right now. It also suggests there is a risk that children will be impacted by a drop in organisational performance during the transition.

“I’m critically aware that with such major change comes risk. Reforms are known to cause a dip in performance - but we are talking about kids’ lives here - not profit margins. There needs to be a plan to ensure they are not negatively impacted during this transition phase,” says Dr Wills.



“The system is about to be turned on its head and I am very optimistic these reforms will lead to better lives for our most vulnerable children. But there are some areas where changes could happen right now – changes that could also ensure the new agency is in a good position to work in a child-centred way when it’s up and running. Most of the workforce now will be the staff of the future agency. So it’s important that the culture of the organisation is addressed as soon as possible.

“You would think that an organisation like Child, Youth and Family would already have children at the heart of what they do. But in our experience, while the organisation has many good people working very hard and already has a child-centred vision, they need to be better supported to be consistently child-centred in practice. A great start would be to develop a clear statement on what being child-centred means and how staff at all levels can make it happen.

“’Child-centred’ is a widely used, but often misunderstood term. Key to being child-centred is asking a child what they need, explaining what is happening to them and working with them on a plan. It means prioritising their needs over paperwork or other demands. Of course, a child’s needs must be assessed in the context of their family and whānau and after using professional judgement. But above all, being child-centred is about genuinely listening to the child.

“We are constantly blown away by the wisdom and insightfulness of the children we visit in our monitoring of Child, Youth and Family. These kids have been through so much and are very clear about what they need. We all need to listen to children far more.

“Children have some clear messages. They want to feel like they belong to their culture and their family and whānau, they want to be involved in decisions about their lives and they want social workers to respect them and treat them well.

“These are simple requests. The direction of the reforms, with their focus on child-centredness, suggest that children in the future will be more likely to have these needs met.

“The success of these reforms however, depends on building a good platform now. That way staff can not only provide a better service for those children in the system right now, but also be in a good position to work in child-centred ways when the new system is up and running.” says Dr Wills.

Notes:

The State of Care 2016 report has three major recommendations:

• Recommendation 1: Plan to reduce the risk to children and young people of a dip in performance during the transition period

• Recommendation 2: Develop a clear understanding of child-centred practice in the particular cultural and organisational context of the New Zealand care and protection and youth justice systems.

• Recommendation 3: Empower and support staff now to strengthen their child-centred practice

The Children’s Commissioner is an independent crown entity. The role is mandated to independently monitor services to children under the Child, Young Person and their Families Act, 1989. In practice, this involves monitoring the policy, practice and service provided by Child, Youth and Family.

This is our second annual report. It aggregates the findings of the monitoring reports we completed for a sample of Child, Youth and Family sites and residences between June 2015 and June 2016, and summarises the voices ofchildren in care who shared their views with us during that time.

The report also includes the findings from two thematic reviews. These reviews focus on a particular aspect of the care and protection or youth justice system. This year’s themes were:

• The quality of case management for children and young people living in non-kin foster care placements

• The quality of case management for young people with dual care and protection and youth justice status.

Information that could identify individual children, staff members, sites, or residences has been removed to protect privacy and preserve our ability to engage openly with CYF and other stakeholders in future.

The report is available on-line at www.occ.org.nz/state-of-care


© Scoop Media

 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

National Terrorism Threat Level Moves To Medium
Medium is defined as a terrorist attack is assessed as feasible and could well occur. The new level remains higher than it was before the 15 March terrorist attack when the threat level was low. More>>

SCOOP COVERAGE: CHRISTCHURCH MOSQUES TERROR ATTACK


Environment Aotearoa 2019: Report Warns Environment In Serious Trouble

The report is jointly produced by the Ministry for the Environment and Statistics New Zealand, and is a follow on from the last report in 2015.

The report says the way New Zealanders live and make a living is having a serious impact on the environment, and the benefits New Zealanders get from being in nature, though not measured or quantified, could be lost. More>>

 

Gordon Campbell: On Scrapping The Capital Gains Tax

As PM Jacinda Arden said yesterday, there was no point in Labour bringing a proposal into the House that it didn’t have the votes to get passed. Looking back, maybe she always felt this outcome to be inevitable... More>>

ALSO:

City Rail Link: Billion Dollar Cost Rise (And Preferred Bidder)

The revised cost envelope for completing the entire Auckland City Rail Link project now totals $4.419 billion. The revised cost has yet to be endorsed by the project’s sponsors (the Crown and Auckland Council). More>>

ALSO:

Meth Scare: Debt Write-Off For HNZ Meth Testing Evictions

People living in Housing New Zealand (HNZ) properties who were wrongly evicted because of flawed methamphetamine contamination policies will have their related debts with the Ministry of Social Development (MSD) written off. More>>

ALSO:

RNZ Report: Fears Grow For NZ Nurse Kidnapped In Syria

A New Zealand nurse working for the Red Cross was captured by Islamic State (IS) in Syria more than five years ago, and there are now public pleas for any information that could help bring her home. More>>

ALSO:

Streets Blocked In London: Climate 'Extinction Rebellion' Reaches Aotearoa

Across the world, thousands of people are taking part in a rebellion to avert climate, ecological and human catastrophe. This begins in Aotearoa New Zealand today. More>>

ALSO:

 
 
 
 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

  • PARLIAMENT
  • POLITICS
  • REGIONAL
 
 

InfoPages News Channels