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Challenges for new Ministry for Vulnerable Children

Challenges for new Ministry for Vulnerable Children

Social Service Providers Aotearoa welcomes the certainty provided by the Minister’s announcement today of the role of the new Ministry for Vulnerable Children and the timeline to establish it.

“The social services sector has been in a state of flux while Child Youth and Family has been under review, so any certainty we can have about the path ahead is welcome,” says SSPA National Manager Brenda Pilott.

There are considerable challenges ahead for the new Ministry. “All of us who work in the child and family sector want the Ministry to succeed – the stakes are very high for the children the Ministry will have as its focus.”

One of the challenges she identified is the timing of the start of the new Ministry which will coincide with the 2017/18 contracting round.

“There were a lot of difficulties this year, with a very delayed and fragmented contracting process. There will need to be very careful planning to avoid a repeat of that next year,” says Brenda Pilott. “The timing problems will be compounded by the fact that the Community Investment area is to be split across two departments, with all the disruption such restructuring causes.”

The Cabinet papers show that the funding for family violence and sexual violence services will be split across MSD and the new Ministry which is a concern.

“Potentially this will create additional complexity and compliance costs for providers whose services cover all age ranges. Add to this that the Ministry of Justice is also a funder in these areas, and the landscape ahead looks very challenging for those organisations.”

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