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Minister welcomes State of Care report

Minister welcomes State of Care report

Social Development Minister Anne Tolley says the State of Care report from the Children’s Commissioner provides a valuable resource for the independent expert panel leading a radical overhaul of Child, Youth and Family.

“I welcome the release of this report, which makes for grim reading for those involved in child protection, and have met with the Commissioner to discuss his findings,” says Mrs Tolley.

“It highlights the concerns which led to my decision to completely revamp CYF. After fourteen reviews we need to say enough is enough. Knee-jerk reactions after tragic events have not delivered the protection and support which vulnerable children need and deserve.

“The whole system needs to change, to better support children and to allow staff to do their jobs to the very best of their abilities.

“There are no quick fixes and no magic wands that can be waved. Simply throwing resources at a system that isn’t performing as it should hasn’t worked in the past and won’t work now. We need to be investing in the areas which get the best results for children.

“What is required is a robust, long-term and practical plan which puts kids where they should be – at the very heart of everything that CYF does.”

Work began in April on a new operating model for CYF, which is being developed and implemented by an independent expert panel led by Paula Rebstock. The panel has met with staff, young people and experienced practitioners, leaders and researchers from across the health, education, justice, social services, and care and protection fields both within and outside of New Zealand. It has also conducted site visits to youth justice and care and protection residences, and family homes.

A Youth Advisory Panel made up of young people with experience of state care, and chosen with the assistance of the Office of the Children’s Commissioner, is ensuring that the voices of children are included as the new operating model is developed.

“All of the recommendations made by the Commissioner are already being addressed by the expert panel, and we are absolutely determined to do everything that is required to improve the lives of at-risk children and young people,” says Mrs Tolley.

“The panel delivered its high-level business case for change earlier this month, and this will go to Cabinet in the next few weeks along with a paper outlining the next steps. I plan to release both documents after Cabinet approval.

“A detailed business case is being developed by the expert panel and will be delivered by December 2015.”

ENDS

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