Cabinet paper and consultation on independent oversight of child care and protection system

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The Ministry of Social Development (MSD) has begun a process to look at independent oversight of the child care and protection system, including Oranga Tamariki.

MSD has gathered feedback from government agencies, crown entities and existing oversight agencies. Now MSD is consulting with a wider audience that focuses on Māori, children and young people, and key stakeholders outside of government.

The closing date for feedback is 2 July 2018.

The Ministry has published a Cabinet paper from Minister for Social Development Carmel Sepuloni, Strengthening Independent Oversight of Children’s Issues and the Oranga Tamariki System: Consultation on Options (2018). The paper provides guidance for the current consultation process. It says:

"This consultation will give priority to hearing the views of children and young people, including those with disabilities, and with iwi and Māori (including the Oranga Tamariki Māori Design Group). Others I propose be consulted include:

    • the Principal Judges in the Youth Court and Family Court
    • other key individuals with particular expertise in the area, eg previous Children’s Commissioners and academics
    • Pacific peoples representatives, including the Oranga Tamariki Pacific People's Panel
    • groups and associations representing children, social workers, caregivers and others involved with the Oranga Tamariki system, such as VOYCE - Whakarongo Mai, the Social Workers Registration Board, Fostering Kids, YouthLaw Aotearoa
    • non-government organisations involved in delivering services to children and young people in the Oranga Tamariki system, or who advocate for children’s rights and wellbeing, including those with a focus on disabled children and young people."

The Cabinet paper also outlines the current status and some issues related to oversight, and recommends options. Some of these recommendations could result in changes to legislation.

In addition to the cabinet paper, MSD has provided a consultation document, a question and answer document, and a template for submitting a response.

For more information and questions, email childrens_independent_oversight_review@msd.govt.nz.

This work is independent of the Royal Commission of Inquiry into Historical Abuse in State Care. The Royal Commission has recently finished consultation on the draft terms of reference for the inquiry. For more information see our previous new story, Royal Commission into Abuse in State Care launched and draft terms of reference released.

Related news

Children’s Minister Tracey Martin recently announced that Oranga Tamariki is holding hui around the country for Oranga Tamariki providers on "commissioning stronger services for children." Tracey Martin said "It was clear in talking with these providers that they wanted to know more about what Oranga Tamariki was doing so that they can plan and provide better services, which is why I asked the Ministry to host these hui."

As part of Budget 2018, the Government announced $269.9 million over the next four years for operating funding and to expand Oranga Tamariki. This includes $2.2 million for a one-year trial to "improve the Family Group Conference process for tamariki Māori."

Oranga Tamariki has also launched the new nationwide 24/7 Caregiver Guidance and Advice Line. It is a dedicated phone line to provide support and advice to Oranga Tamariki caregivers.

For other recent Oranga Tamariki news see the recent update from Gráinne Moss, Chief Executive for Oranga Tamariki.

Related reports

A number of reports have been published in the last year related to Oranga Tamariki, the former Child, Youth and Family and children's rights more widely:

Also see selected Official Information Act (OIA) releases from Oranga Tamariki.

Selected and related media

Colonisation + Capitalism = Māori in State Care, Opinion: Ian Hyslop, Re-Imagining Social Work in Aotearoa New Zealand Blog, 05.10.2018

Children's Commissioner recommends change to State care system, Māori Television, 01.10.2018

State of Care report from the Children's Commissioner, Press Release: Office of the Children's Commissioner, Scoop, 01.10.2018

Children's commissioner wants more Maori perspective, Radio NZ, 01.10.2018

Family Court judges raised concerns with new Ministry 10 times, Radio NZ, 23.08.2018

Oranga Tamariki ignoring safety report, grandmother says, Radio NZ, 07.08.2018

Emails show senior detectives want Oranga Tamariki to follow Whakatāne model of specialist child protection, NZ Herald, 04.08.2018

At-risk children waiting months for investigations into abuse, Radio NZ, 03.08.2018

Oranga Tamariki accused of failing to protect vulnerable Hutt Valley children, Stuff, 02.08.2018

Hutt Valley Oranga Tamariki under fire over suspected delays, One News, 02.08.2018

Subsequent child rules: 'I did not understand how they could take baby', Radio NZ, 06.07.2018

21 safety assessments by Oranga Tamariki Wairarapa late, Radio NZ, 05.07 2018

Whānau frozen in family conferences, Waatea News, 05.07.2018

Whānau with children in state care lack clarity on rights, Radio NZ, 03.07.2018

Whānau facing losing children discouraged by state process, Radio NZ, 03.07.2018

Former CYF runaways back with whānau, Newshub, 18.06.2018

Forty per cent of children in state care moved between three-plus caregivers in five years, NZ Herald, 10.06.2018

New phone support service launched for carers of at-risk children, Radio NZ, 26.05.2018

Suspected sex offender re-employed by MSD to work with vulnerable children, Newshub, 19.05.2018

Boy removed from home after judge criticises Ministry for Children, Stuff, 13.05.2018

Mother calls for change to law that allows her abuser to deny her a support person at meeting over child's future, Stuff, 26.04.2018

Police bungle meant child abuse victims waited 20 years for justice, Stuff, 02.02.2018