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New Directions Points Way Ahead

Child, Youth and Family’s New Directions programme will significantly boost the department’s performance, says chief executive Jackie Brown.

Details of New Directions, which draws heavily on the recommendations of the Brown report into Child, Youth and Family, were announced today by the Minister of Social Services and Employment Steve Maharey.

“Coupled with the extra funding in Budget 2001, New Directions will enable us to do a far better job of helping at-risk children,” says Ms Brown.

“We’ve been determined to lift our performance in the wake of the Brown report. Our successful strategies to reduce unallocated cases are an example of the action we’ve taken. Now I am confident the extra Budget funding and the results New Directions will deliver will help make Child, Youth and Family an organisation of which New Zealanders will be proud.

“New Directions takes an honest look at our performance and the issues we face. We recognise that we need to change our approach as a whole department if we are to support our staff to achieve better outcomes for families.

“We need to focus on the results the Department should be achieving and that’s what New Directions is about. We’ll be placing a heavy emphasis on achieving long-term positive results for the children and families we deal with, not just on the important immediate problems we are presented with.

“We’ve been focused on those shorter-term issues in recent years because of heavy demand and stretched resources. Now we’ll be working toward helping children and their families in a more comprehensive way and supporting them over time to achieve well-being.

”For example, we’ll be concentrating on improving our social work practice and getting different parts of Child, Youth and Family to work together more efficiently. It is also vitally important that we work more closely with community agencies and the public at large to tackle abuse and neglect.

“But, ultimately, adults’ behaviour and attitudes also have to change if we’re to end abuse and neglect. Our intention is to advance the wellbeing of families and the wellbeing of children and young people as members of families, whanau, hapu, iwi and family groups. We need everyone’s co-operation to do that.”

Ends


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