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Caring Families Aotearoa Care & Protection White Paper Presented To Minister For Children

Every year thousands of children and young people throughout Aotearoa must live with people other than their parents, because of concerns about their wellbeing. These children often have experienced considerable trauma and find it difficult to trust others, they need stability, love, and help to heal.

Unfortunately, the current care and protection system set up to support these children is failing them, it is failing because the system is not set up with a focus on the child, but rather on bureaucracy.

This month, Caring Families Aotearoa, (a charity established in 1976 dedicated to supporting the thousands of children in care, by supporting the caregivers), has presented a Care & Protection White Paper to the Minister for Children, Hon Karen Chhour. This White Paper offers a *collective high-level vision for the Care and Protection System in Aotearoa with the hope that it will form part of government policy.

At its core, the White Paper has three key messages;

  • The community sector, in partnership with iwi and hapū, needs to have a stronger and clearer role in care and protection. Large government bureaucracies are not well set-up to deal with complex social needs. Resources and responsibilities should be moved to organisations that are best placed to walk alongside and help young people and their carers.
  • The care system needs to be designed around the needs of children, young people and their carers, not the requirements of the bureaucracy. The current system discriminates against children and young people in whānau care and does not provide them with the right assistance. Getting children and young people out of state care is the right goal, but we are not making their lives better if the alternative care pathways are threadbare and inadequate.
  • Caring for children and young people who have experienced trauma can be extremely rewarding, but also very challenging. Carers need training, recognition, respite and support to carry out their roles well.
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This White Paper is the culmination of over a year’s work, research and public consultation. Although this process was begun and initially led by Caring Families Aotearoa, the final recommendations in this paper were developed collaboratively and represent the *collective view of what is needed to better serve children and young people in care.

*This collective of NGOs includes Wesley Community Action, Grandparents Raising Grandchildren, New Zealand Council of Christian Social Services, VOYCE Whakarongo Mai, Open Home Foundation and Kia Puāwai.

We all stand behind these recommendations and hope to work together with government to achieve their full implementation.

To read the full Caring Families Aotearoa White Paper please

click here

or refer to the attached White Paper.

© Scoop Media

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