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CYF baseline review findings released

23 October 2003 Media Statement

CYF baseline review findings released

Child, Youth and Family Minister Ruth Dyson today announced the findings of the First Principles Baseline Review of the Department of Child, Youth and Family Services.

¡§The review has revealed systemic problems with Child, Youth and Family, unclear outcome priorities and variability in the quality of service. Our goal now is to help the department stabilise its operations, learn more about what works, and improve its performance.¡¨

Ruth Dyson said the review had been undertaken over the last 10 months.

¡§At the end of last year, my predecessor Steve Maharey initiated the review as a way of assessing Child, Youth and Family¡¦s performance after its first two full financial years of operation. Since 1999, the government has increased the department¡¦s baseline funding by more than 50 per cent, strengthened the social work profession by introducing a system of formal registration, and improved relationships with the community sector.

¡§Child, Youth and Family helps thousands of New Zealand children, young people and families every year, and the review provides an opportunity to build on these achievements.¡¨

The five key recommendations of the review are to:
„h clarify the expectations, outcomes, roles and functions of CYF;
„h address the demand for CYF services;
„h improve CYF¡¦s interface with other agencies and sectors;
„h adopt a whole-of-organisation approach to service delivery; and
„h build corporate and business systems, information and workforce capability.

¡§Child, Youth and Family has prepared a detailed implementation plan to carry out these recommendations. The department¡¦s immediate priorities are to employ additional front-line social work staff, develop a strategy for managing demand, and give greater support for regional delivery of services.¡¨

Ruth Dyson said the department would continue to have a community development role and strong relationships with community providers. However, the Ministry of Social Development would pick up responsibility for coordinating and developing broadly-focused family support services.

¡§Child, Youth and Family will continue to fund community organisations. However, over time, it will focus on funding services that align with its safety and security role. As a result, some organisations may be funded by other government agencies.¡¨

Ms Dyson said Child, Youth and Family needed to work cooperatively within the social services sector.

¡§Protecting children and young people is a broad community responsibility, and Child, Youth and Family can only work effectively with the support of the wider social services sector, care and protection system and youth justice system.¡¨

The government has agreed to additional funding for Child, Youth and Family over the next three years to 2005/2006 of up to $111.3 million for operational spending, and up to $7.4 million for capital spending.

In addition, up to $8.5 million will be invested in implementing the Care and Protection Blueprint, including improved education services and mental health services for CYF clients and improved support for CYF clients with disabilities.

The baseline review was conducted by Treasury, the Ministry of Social Development, State Services Commission and Child, Youth and Family. An advisory group of Treasury, the Ministry of Social Development and State Services Commission has been set up to advise ministers on the implementation of the review, and provide support and advice to Child, Youth and Family.

Copies of the baseline review, a summary of CYF¡¦s implementation plan, and press releases are available on

The Cabinet paper is available on Ruth Dyson¡¦s home page at


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