Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | News Video | Crime | Employers | Housing | Immigration | Legal | Local Govt. | Maori | Welfare | Unions | Youth | Search

 

CYF steps up, what about the rest?

CYF steps up, what about the rest?


Child Poverty Action Group


An overhaul of Child Youth and Family (CYF) policies has been a long time coming, and Child Poverty Action Group (CPAG) applaud the recommendations by the Expert Panel dedicated to the modernisation of CYF, published in a comprehensive report. The Government's positive response to implementing the package of reforms, which will be phased in over an estimated period of five years, is also commendable. Significant proposals are ensuring assistance is more immediately available, concentration on reducing incidents of vulnerability among Maori children and making the state responsible for the care of children until their 18th birthdays.

Putting children at the centre of these policies is crucial for the system to work, and the changes proposed reflect that is what CYF intends.

But there are other areas of concern that need to be addressed before the number of children in CYF care will reduce - which is the ideal long-term outcome. CPAG Social Security spokesperson Associate Professor Mike O'Brien says that putting the child at the centre of other policies, particularly Working for Families, and a commitment to ensuring that families have access to adequate and affordable housing are fundamental to the success of these CYF reforms.

Any changes to CYF policies and provision of services for children requires significant additional resourcing by Government that must be sustained over a long period, to make a real difference. Since the budget cuts in 1991 which have never been adequately restored there have been 25 years of harm to too many children .

CPAG agrees with Deborah Morris-Travers from UNICEF who has said, "It is critical that funding will now follow children to ensure that their individual needs are met, but this model will also require Government to consider how it builds resilient communities and civil society with organisations that are agile, well-resourced and equipped to support families and children more broadly."

Providing adequately for children in care will happen only if there is a comprehensive health, education, housing and income support for the children and for their caregivers. Otherwise the positive changes made to CYF policies run the risk of failing long-term, and resort to an interim method of damage control rather than enduring solution.

Support for agencies dedicated to aiding young people with transitioning from state care must be enhanced, as the increase in age to 25 will mean a rise in workload for these organisations. Shifting public responsibility to the private sector, by contracting care out to non-government agencies such as Barnados may have the adverse effects of overwhelming such organisations. The proposed focus on prevention is also commendable, but this too requires funding of intensive support and family preservation services in the NGO sector. It is crucial that Government direct resources where it expects the responsibilities to fall.

Poverty is a serious issue in New Zealand; household incomes must be boosted . Many parents are unable to adequately care for their children who are taken in state care as a result. CPAG advocates improving the Working for Families tax credit system, removing all in-work criteria tied to the child- related payments.

Child Poverty Action Group insists that the Government continue to focus on alleviating poverty as a fundamental basis to improving the outcomes for all children living in low-income families or at-risk situations.

ENDS


© Scoop Media

 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Gordon Campbell: On The Lancet’s Stance Against The Olympic Games, And On The US Culture Battles Over Abortion

Yesterday - barely a month before the opening ceremony - the Lancet medical journal has called for a global conversation on whether the Olympics should go ahead. But who is able to take part in that conversation? Not the hosts, evidently. In poll after poll, a huge majority of the Japanese people have made it clear they do not want to host the Games... More>>



 
 



Environment: Bringing Back The Health Of Hauraki Gulf

New marine protection areas and restrictions on fishing are among a raft of changes being put in place to protect the Hauraki Gulf for future generations.
The new strategy, Revitalising the Gulf – Government action on the Sea Change Plan, released today... More>>

ALSO:

NZ First Returns: Winston Peters - AGM Address

Ladies and gentlemen, it’s a pleasure to be in Auckland for the 28th New Zealand First Party Conference. It is our intention and mission to remain the most successful political party outside of National and Labour in the last three decades... More>>



Government: New Members Appointed To Waitangi Tribunal

Minister for Māori Development, Hon Willie Jackson, today announced the appointment of three new members to the Waitangi Tribunal and the reappointment of one existing member to the Waitangi Tribunal... More>>

NZNO: Nurses Reject DHB Offer And Confirm Strike Action

The New Zealand Nurses Organisation says its 30,000 members who work in DHBs have voted overwhelmingly to reject a second offer in their current round of multi-employer collective agreement (MECA) negotiations... More>>

ALSO:


 
 
 
 
 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

  • PARLIAMENT
  • POLITICS
  • REGIONAL
 
 

InfoPages News Channels