Transformational change for vulnerable children and young people

Issue: Volume 95, Number 22

Posted: 5 December 2016
Reference #: 1H9d5f

Fully achieving the new system will be a four to five year process, to allow the time needed to get things right.

One of the first things the programme is focused on is setting up a new ministry to replace Child, Youth and Family. The Ministry for Vulnerable Children, Oranga Tamariki will be up and running from 1 April next year.

A staff consultation process is underway, on the proposed organisational structures for the new ministry and a refocused MSD. The final structure for both ministries will be announced in early December.

Alongside the establishment of the new ministry, there will be some initial enhancements that will be in place from 30 June 2017. These include:

  • raising the age of care to include 17 year olds and enhanced transition planning and support
  • enhanced access to universal and targeted services for children and young people in care
  • establishing an independent youth advocacy service
  • national care standards to provide guidance and clear expectations for the quality of care
  • widening the pool of caregivers
  • better access to information, training and support for caregivers
  • an approach to support better attendance and participation in the Family Group Conference process.

As signalled above, we’re drawing on the experience and expertise of professionals, communities, caregivers, young people and families to inform the development of our work, and there will be many opportunities to be involved in the service design process. This includes regional service design hubs, co-design workshops and leveraging off existing forums. Check out the information on the Service and Practice Model web page(external link) and if you want to be involved, contact us on

Upcoming legislation changes

The Government is also proposing additional legislation changes, likely to occur in 2018, which include:

  • information sharing – establishing a bespoke information sharing framework, that will provide greater clarity to practitioners about what information they are allowed to share, with whom, and in what circumstances
  • transition to independence support – enabling young people to remain with their caregiver up to the age of 21, and extending discretion to support young people up to age 25
  • major reform to the principles, obligations, decision-making processes and oversight mechanisms for the care system.

You can find out more about the new child-centred care and support system, including the proposed legislation changes and some of the initial themes that are emerging from the co-design workshops, via the Investing in Children programme page on the MSD website(external link)

BY Education Gazette editors
Education Gazette | Tukutuku Kōrero,

Posted: 10:01 pm, 5 December 2016

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