State care reform Bill passes second reading

Published: Tue 1 Nov 2016 11:44 PM
Hon Anne Tolley
Minister for Social Development
1 November 2016
State care reform Bill passes second reading
Social Development Minister Anne Tolley says that the first stage of major state care reforms has passed its second reading in Parliament.
As part of the radical overhaul of care and protection, the first raft of legislative changes in the Children, Young Persons and Their Families (Advocacy, Workforce and Age Settings) Amendment Bill will:
• Extend the age of state care and protection to a young person’s 18th birthday
• Ensure the views of children and young people are taken into account as part of decision making at an individual level and in the development of services and policy
• Support the establishment of an independent youth advocacy service, and
• Enable the broader range of professionals with specialist skills who will widen the expertise within the new model to perform some functions under the Act. Social workers would still be the main professionals responsible for carrying out these functions.
The Government recently announced that further legislation is to be introduced before the end of the year to enable young people to remain in care or return to care up until the age of 21, with transition support and advice available up to 25.
“We are introducing bold reforms to ensure that we have a truly child-centred system which delivers the life outcomes that vulnerable young people deserve,” says Mrs Tolley.
“They must have a say in the decisions that affect their lives, and their voices need to be heard as we develop a completely new operating model for our care system as part of the new Ministry for Vulnerable Children, Oranga Tamariki.
“We are at the beginning of a multi-year transformation process. This is not simply another restructure. We must take the time to get this right and this legislation will ensure that children and young people are involved at every step in the process.”

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