The Green Paper on Vulnerable Children
The Government’s vision for children is that every child thrives, belongs, and achieves. Most New Zealand children live this vision with the support of their parents, and family and whānau. About 15 per cent of New Zealand children are at risk of not doing well. The Government is concerned about these children and they are the focus of this Green Paper.
This Green Paper has been written based on research, evidence and data. This is available from www.childrensactionplan.govt.nz arranged by chapter so you can easily see what was used.
A Green Paper is a discussion document that outlines ideas a Government wants to test with the public before making decisions.
The New Zealand Government is concerned about the number of children who have childhoods that make it unlikely that they will thrive, belong and achieve. When this happens, the long-term outcomes and costs to these children and to everyone is high.
The Government has worked hard to make improvements for vulnerable children. Some of these improvements will increase participation in early childhood education and strengthen Well Child and care and protection services. But Government is committed to making more changes. The Government has identified further improvements that could better protect children and prevent them becoming vulnerable.
There are no simple solutions and we are in an environment where government funding is constrained.
The Government is inviting you to comment on how it can improve its policies and services, and how it can work better with others for the benefit of vulnerable children.
There is already a substantial investment by Government in children and their families and whānau across the economic, transport, health, and education sectors, and more. However, these issues are not the focus of this paper as other Government-led work is happening in this space.
Parents and caregivers have the initial and biggest impact on children and their childhoods. Parents and caregivers have an undeniable responsibility to do right by their children. Being a parent involves taking on life-changing and enduring responsibilities. Most parents accept this responsibility even if it means a struggle.
Families and whānau are crucial for children to thrive, belong and achieve. Throughout time, societies have recognised it takes a village to raise a child – friends, neighbours, hapū, iwi, community members and leaders are all critical.
Government is only one player. Many things impact on what happens to children that are beyond the reach of Government – in terms of what happens in the economy and job market and what happens in our homes.
We all need to take responsibility for New Zealand’s children.
[Scoop copy (PDF): The Green Paper on Vulnerable Children]