Wednesday, May 22, 2024

Children’s welfare plan success a combined agency effort says Minister

Minister for Children, Kelvin Davis says an action plan designed to bring children’s agencies together for the common purpose of helping those most in need has had a significant impact in its first year.

The Oranga Tamariki Action Plan requires the Chief Executives of Oranga Tamariki, the Police, and the Ministries of Education, Social Development, Health, and Justice to work together to achieve better outcomes for the children and young people in care.

The Minister said the Department of Corrections and the Ministry of Housing and Urban Development have also contributed to the work of children’s agencies.

“I pushed hard for this approach because I know the best way to prevent children coming into the care of the state was for all agencies to work together with the community and provide that wrap-around support we know is so important,” Mr Davis said.

“I knew there would be challenges in getting different agencies on the same page, but I’m pleased that we’re now seeing real traction and the impact is being seen in the lives of families.”

Examples of these positive impacts include Oranga Tamariki and Kāinga Ora working together to increase the number of homes available for disabled children who require more intensive support. Kāinga Ora have purchased seven homes in Christchurch, Wellington and Orewa with three more to come in Canterbury and Nelson.

In the health space, children in Oranga Tamariki residences will be able to transition smoothly between healthcare providers because of a new data system jointly developed by Te Whatu Ora and Oranga Tamariki, the Minister said.

This partnership has also led to initiatives such as senior social worker liaison roles being introduced at Starship’s actute mental health unit, with the positions to be introduced in Wellington and Canterbury after the successful trial, he said.

“Frontline social workers have been crying out for this sort of approach for years and I am pleased that we have been able to bed this approach in.”

“I want to thank my Ministerial colleagues and their officials for their commitment to the kaupapa but the work has only just begun, I look forward to seeing things ramp up quickly now we have the foundations in place,” said Mr Davis.

More information on the Oranga Tamariki Action Plan can be found here.

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