Children and young people’s safety and wellbeing comes first in new Ministry

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Thursday, April 20, 2017

Children and young people’s safety and wellbeing comes first in new Ministry

It’s important our vulnerable children and young people have a safe, stable and loving home so they can go on to lead successful lives.

The new Ministry for Vulnerable Children, Oranga Tamariki, was launched this afternoon by Prime Minister Bill English and Minister for Children Anne Tolley. It will work with families and whānau to ensure children and young people have access to the care and support they need.

It will do this by putting children and young people’s safety and wellbeing first, and ensuring they have a say in the decisions that affect them.

 

As the Prime Minister acknowledged in his opening address, young people themselves can be the best ones to ask about what works – and what doesn’t.

 

The launch of the new Ministry is another milestone on a journey this government began six years ago to better understand the lives of our more vulnerable people – and what they need to change their lives for the better.

It represents a major transformation programme to build a more child-centred care and protection system which focuses on harm and trauma prevention and early intervention. It recognises that crisis management is not the answer.

It represents real change – and courage on the part of those who recognise change is needed.

The Ministry itself will be just one part of the equation. The other lies with our communities. We need to help people build their own ability to be caring and nurturing.

So partnerships matter. But rather than spending time trying to find the perfect partnership model we want to get out there and do it.

Iwi, Pacific peoples and NGOs need to be in their own communities using their own models, practices and experiences to change the conditions and circumstances that lead to disconnected and dysfunctional whānau.

We do not want to repeat the failings of the past.

That’s why we will focus on providing children and young people with safe and secure environments along with a sense of belonging.

And it’s why we will support whānau, Iwi, Aiga and families to help them provide nurturing, safe and loving environments so that the future for our vulnerable children will be brighter.