2016 Budget: No new family violence money, Family Violence Networks refunded
Mon 30 May 2016
The 2016 Budget was announced on 26 May, with no new funding for family violence services. However funding for the Family Violence Networks (formerly ...
The 2016 Budget was announced on 26 May, with no new funding for family violence services. However funding for the Family Violence Networks (formerly Te Rito networks) was provided for another 12 months.
The Ministry of Social Development announced that the 2016 Budget would extend funding for Family Violence Response Coordination (FVRC) for another year. The $2.8 million funding for FVRC supports the 40 family violence networks who coordinate family violence prevention and intervention initiatives regionally. In the next 12 months, the future of the Networks will be considered as part of the Ministerial Group on Family Violence and Sexual Violence Work Programme.
The Networks support the delivery of community-based family violence prevention initiatives, recognising that halting family violence requires effective collaboration and strengthening communities' capacity to work together. Some Networks also coordinate government and non-government agency responses to family violence. A review by the Ministry of Social Development (2009) found the that the Family Violence Networks had contributed to greater leadership, more effective services, enhanced safety and accountability, changing attitudes and behaviours and sustained collaborations. The Expert Advisory Group (EAG) on family violence (2014) recommended increased support and an expanded role for the Family Violence Networks.
The final release of 2016 Budget confirmed concerns that no additional funding would be allocated to family violence. In the week prior to the release of the budget, Social Development Minister Anne Tolley had indicated that new money for family violence would not be included in the 2016 budget.
Green MP Jan Logie expressed concerns about delaying funding for family violence, commenting "If we are serious about keeping women and children safe, we have to fund the services to be able to do that. At the moment the Government is not funding those services and are putting woman and children's lives at risk."
Other 2016 Budget news
In the Budget, the government announced of $652.1 million for a Social Investment Package. The package includes funding for reforming child protection services, extending the MSD Youth service to 18 to 19 year olds, reducing barriers to employment, support for schools, prison reintegration services, data infrastructure for supporting better focused NGO service delivery, and healthy housing initiatives. The funding allocation is spread across several different government portfolios.
Funding announcements from relevant portfolios include:
$347.8 million for care and protection of young people which includes $144.9 million over four years to meet increased demand and $199.9 million over four years to support the development of the new model for child protection
$49 million to strengthen Whānau-centred services including a $40 million boost to Whānau Ora. The announcement clarified that $11.4 million operating funding per annum was transferred from the Ministry of Social Development to Whānau Ora, which had been announced earlier. This resulted in cuts to various social services which had received funding from MSD.
$299.2m in additional funding for Police mostly addresses pay increases, but did include $8.2 million for the child protection offenders register development and operating costs
$355.6 million funding boost for Corrections which includes $20 million for reintegration services and $8.8 million to continue the 24-hour GPS electronic monitoring for highest-risk offenders and to improve electronic monitoring
$208 million investment boost for Justice which includes restorative justice and supporting "the Ministry of Justice to deliver more effective services." This funding also includes the $96 million announced for legal aid as below.
$96 million for legal aid and community law centres - "Key parts of the package are: $17.2 million to increase eligibility for civil and family legal aid; $4.3 million for community law centres; and $54.5 million, and $20 million in 2015/16, for the provision of legal aid."
The announcement for the Social Investment package also highlighted $61.2 million of which $19.8 million is reprioritised, to extend MSD Youth Services to 18 and 19 years old as well as funding to support further work in using data to improve service delivery in the social sector: "$40 million operating and $10 million capital in contingency to raise data quality and build infrastructure for secure data distribution. This will support government agencies and NGOs to deliver better results from social services using rigorous, evidence-based measurement, evaluation and feedback."