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Govt’s Green Paper analysis provides a platform for action

1000 days to get it right for every child: Government’s Green Paper analysis provides a platform for action

The analysis of submissions to the government’s Green Paper for Vulnerable Children provides a clear steer on the actions that government and communities can take to improve life for New Zealand children.

“The Executive Summary of Submissions released today acknowledges some of the most important issues impacting on child safety and wellbeing. It reflects the ideas of more than 580 non-governmental submissions; 1800 frontline workers’ submissions; 2000 submissions from children and young people; and in excess of 4000 public submissions,” says Liz Gibbs, Chair of Every Child Counts.

“The summary released today coherently synthesises many important recommendations for children and families. It has the potential to inform the development of a Children’s Action Plan and stimulate discussion within - and between - political parties interested in improving the wellbeing of our children. We encourage all parties to draw on the expertise reflected in the Green Paper submissions to build agreement about the policies and actions they will take for children.

“We are pleased that the government’s analysis acknowledges the call by submitters to address wider social and economic causes of vulnerability. The summary refers to government providing equal opportunities and helping keep families together by providing services and increasing household incomes. Submitters have highlighted the government’s role in ensuring agencies and organisations are connected; and called for the provision of basic services for all children, with extra services targeted to children needing additional support.

“While submissions have highlighted the government’s role in helping ensure children thrive, it is clear that submitters want communities to share responsibility more and help parents raise their children too. Children and young people were especially clear about the primary responsibility of parents but they want good support for their families.

“Government and communities can work together to ensure the local leadership and community-led development needed to support families. And government and non-governmental organisations alike have challenges to meet in child-centred practice, developing and training the workforce, co-locating services and collaborating effectively.

“The summary of submissions shows that there is a significant work programme needed to address all of the issues identified by submitters. A Children’s Action Plan would support this. Issues like monitoring and information-sharing need careful consideration and discussion within government and community organisations.

“Over the past year Every Child Counts and its member organisations have invested significant effort in supporting people to make submissions, and ensuring we brought the best of our community knowledge to this process. We welcome the analysis of submissions released today and we will continue our efforts to support and inform all efforts to make sure children do thrive, belong and achieve,” concludes Liz Gibbs.

Every Child Counts is a coalition of organisations and individuals working to improve the status and wellbeing of NZ children, driven by Barnardos, Plunket, UNICEF, Save the Children, and Ririki.

1000 days to get it right for every child is an Every Child Counts campaign for more effective investment in children in their first 3 years.

www.everychildcounts.org.nz

ENDS

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