INDEPENDENT NEWS

Budget 2015 supports at-risk children

Published: Thu 21 May 2015 02:38 PM
Hon Anne Tolley
Minister for Social Development
21 May 2015
Budget 2015 supports at-risk children
Budget 2015 supports the Government’s plan to provide better care for vulnerable children and families across New Zealand, Social Development Minister Anne Tolley says.
It provides $58.6 million in new operating funding over the next four years and $2.3 million in capital funding in 2015/16 to help vulnerable children.
“Our most vulnerable kids deserve the very best support we can provide,” Mrs Tolley says.
“Funding for Child, Youth and Family and for Children’s Teams will benefit young people in state care and at-risk children to ensure they are safe from harm and have healthy and secure lives.”
This includes an investment of $8 million in 2015/16 for CYF to meet demand, due to the duration and complexity of interventions required for children and young people in care.
Budget 2015 also allocates $5.8 million in 2015/16 to develop and test a new operating model for CYF, which will result from the current review of operations by an expert independent panel.
“The system must work with the needs of children at the very heart of its operations and it must also support staff to do their job to the best of their abilities,” Mrs Tolley says.
Funding of $3.3 million in 2015/16 will allow CYF to meet the legislative changes in the Children, Young Persons and their Families Act, for the care and protection of vulnerable children. In addition, $5.7 million over the next four years will continue specialist and therapeutic care placements for high needs young people in CYF care.
New operating funding of $35.8 million over the next four years will support the implementation of the Children’s Action Plan.
This will continue funding for the four current Children’s Teams, alongside the six additional teams which are being established.
Children’s Teams ensure that at-risk children have an individually-tailored support plan and a single point of contact to work alongside the child and their family and other social service, health and education professionals.
Some $2.3 million in new capital funding for 2015/16 will allow the new Hamilton Children’s Team to run a pilot of a Vulnerable Kids Information System, where appropriate and secure information will be shared by relevant agencies so the best decisions are made for each child and their family.
“Budget 2015 supports our focus to do better for our vulnerable children,” Mrs Tolley says.
“Children’s Teams will allow us to intervene earlier to support and protect at-risk kids, while the increased investment in CYF will address the needs of the children and young people in state care.”

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