The second piece of legislation to reform child care and protection services has been referred to the Social Services select committee. Submissions on this bill close on Wednesday 15 February 2017. [Update: The closing date for submissions has been extended to 3 March 2017]
The Children, Young Persons, and Their Families (Oranga Tamariki) Legislation Bill amends the Children, Young Persons, and Their Families Act 1989 (CYPF Act) and the Vulnerable Children Act 2014. It also makes minor amendments to the Education Act 1989, Social Security Act 1964 and the Income Tax Act 2007.
The Beehive release provides a brief overview of the proposed changes included in the bill:
- "Allowing 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
- Enabling the establishment of an information sharing framework to keep vulnerable children and young people safe from harm
- Extending the youth justice system to include lower-risk 17 year olds
The Bill also includes changes to the purposes and principles of the Act to:
- place children and young people at the centre of decision-making and consider them within the context of their families, whanau, hapu and iwi and broader networks and communities
- support families, whanau, hapu, iwi and caregivers and enable them to provide a safe, stable and loving home
- strengthen the relationships between children and young people and their family, whanau, hapu, and iwi, especially between siblings.
When making decisions under the CYPF Act, decision-makers will need to consider:
- The family, whanau and usual caregiver are strengthened and supported to enable them to care for the child or young person
- Wherever possible the relationship between the child or young person and their family, whanau and usual caregiver is respected, supported and strengthened, and
- The family, whanau, hapu, iwi and usual caregiver have a voice and a role in decisions made about the child or young person."
"There are specific measures to recognise and reflect a commitment to the principles of the Treaty of Waitangi, including a requirement for the Ministry to develop strategic partnerships with iwi and Māori organisations, which is already underway."
The proposals in this latest round of reforms have been criticised for deprioritising placing Māori children in care with whānau, hapū and iwi. The Māori Women's Welfare League (MWWL) has filed a claim in the Waitangi Tribunal challenging the policy changes.
A more detailed summary of bill's proposed changes and links to cabinet papers is available on the Ministry of Social Development (MSD) website. Also see the press release from the Office of the Clerk.
For information about the reforms, see the MSD website on the Investing in Children Programme.
The proposed changes also include a proposal to extend the youth justice system to include 17 year-olds.
The first bill implementing the Government's reforms, the Children, Young Persons and Their Families (Advocacy, Workforce and Age Settings) Amendment Bill, has passed its third reading in Parliament and received Royal Assent.
Responses to the bill
Responses to the bill are listed under "Media" below. More will be added as they are published so please check back.
The previous NZFVC stories have more information about the reforms
- Government announces reforms to Child, Youth and Family, April 2016
- Consultation open on bill amending child protection and care services, July 2016
- New "Ministry for Vulnerable Children, Oranga Tamariki" to be established, August 2016
- Government announces more reforms to child protection and care, September 2016
- Proposal to deprioritise placing Māori children in care with whānau, hapū, iwi criticised, September 2016
- Government to raise age of care and protection to 21, October 2016
- Government announces information sharing framework, November 2016
- Treaty claim lodged on move away from whānau, hapū, iwi placements for children in care, December 2016
- First child protection reform Bill passes third reading, December 2016
Submitted on Wed, 2016-12-14 14:05