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Child, Youth and Family boosts performance

Child, Youth and Family boosts performance

Child, Youth and Family achieved sustained performance improvements in the 2001-2002 financial year.

Social Services and Employment Minister Steve Maharey tabled the department’s annual report tabled in Parliament today. He said the Brown Review, completed in 2000 made recommendations about how the department could improve its performance.

“New Directions – the department’s programme for change in response to Mick Brown’s review – has been the focus of the department’s work over the past year.

“The department has responded to the issues raised in the report and improved performance while managing an increase in child welfare cases. It has also substantially reduced unallocated cases and implemented a range of initiatives to improve care provided to children and young people and to improve the ways the department works with the community,” said Steve Maharey.

Achievements during the year shown in the report include: Child, Youth and Family Youth and Family managed 27,507 notifications of child abuse, neglect or welfare issues in the year ending 30 June 2002, up three per cent on the previous year; the focus on retaining social work staff has seen turnover in the department drop from 15.1 per cent to 12.3 per cent; and the government’s increased funding provided in last year’s Budget to implement the department’s Care Services Strategy, resulted in the appointment of 36 care specialist staff (at June 02).

Steve Maharey says Child, Youth and Family is determined to keep improving the way it helps at-risk children and families.

“The government is focused on achieving further improvements over the coming year. Priorities include ensuring improved processes for children and young people entering into and leaving care, and an increased level of permanency through care plans that are developed for young people in care.

“We will also be delivering better youth justice services and a residential services strategy that will provide more purpose-built residential facilities throughout New Zealand are another focus, and improve the way Child, Youth and Family works with other government agencies and community organisations.

“There is still a long way to go to implement all the plans. But growing numbers of staff feel the department is moving in the right direction and this is reflected in reduced turnover rates,” Steve Maharey said.

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