Parliament considers changes to child protection and care
5 July 2016
Parliament considers changes to the care and protection of children and young people
Raising the age of State care and protection from 17 to 18 years is one of the proposed changes to services for vulnerable children, young persons, and their families.
Parliament’s Social Services Committee is now considering this and other changes under the Children, Young Persons, and Their Families (Advocacy, Workforce, and Age Settings) Amendment Bill.
Alfred Ngaro, chairperson of the committee, says the bill is in response to the Ministry of Social Development’s recent report on modernising Child, Youth and Family.
“Currently, foster care ends on a person’s 17th birthday. This bill aims to raise this to their 18th birthday. This extra year of care and protection could make a lot of difference to a young person’s future. We want to know what the public thinks about this”, said Mr Ngaro.
The bill also seeks to:
• strengthen the participation of children and young people in decisions about their own lives
• embed the views of children and young persons into policy and service development
• support the set-up of
independent advocacy services, with a particular focus on
young people in care
• allow a wider range of workers to perform a wider set of tasks to help vulnerable children and young people.
New Zealanders are invited to have their say to the committee by Thursday, 28 July 2016. If passed the bill would come into force on 31 March 2017.