New "Ministry for Vulnerable Children, Oranga Tamariki" to be established

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Social Development Minister Anne Tolley has confirmed that a new Ministry for Vulnerable Children, Oranga Tamariki, will be operational from 1 April 2017. Mrs Tolley will be the Minister for Vulnerable Children.

The State Services Commissioner has announced that Gráinne Moss has been appointed as the Chief Executive, starting in September 2016. Ms Moss has worked in the public and private sectors, most recently at Bupa Care Services NZ.

The new Ministry will replace Child, Youth and Family. However Mrs Tolley said it will “no longer focus solely on crisis management” –  it will be responsible for statutory care and protection, youth justice services, adoption services, the Children’s Action Plan directorate and Children’s Teams, Community Investment relating to funding and contracting for vulnerable children services, family and sexual violence services relating to child victims or perpetrators, current complaint services and policy advice.

The Ministry of Social Development (MSD) said funding and contracting for family and sexual violence services "not directly related to child victims or perpetrators" will remain with MSD. For further information, see the Cabinet minute.

The new Ministry will be reviewed after two years, during which time it will share some corporate services with MSD, to allow the new department to focus on operational issues.

Mrs Tolley said, “front line social workers will move over to the new model to ensure it is ready to go on day one in April next year. As the new operating framework is rolled out over the following 4-5 years, staff will need a different mix of skills and will receive the necessary training. It is not simply CYF under a new name.”

She said over the next two months, a “transformation programme team” will engage with cross-sector and community stakeholders such as government agencies, NGOs, iwi, young people, families and caregivers, as part of service and co-design work.

A strategy to “engage all New Zealanders so that communities can get more involved in the support of vulnerable children” continues to be developed, and the second tranche of legislation to support the overhaul is being prepared.

Mrs Tolley has also appointed a new Youth Advisory Panel, made up of young people who are in or who have experience of state care, to provide input into the design of the new system.

Cabinet papers relevant to the changes and further information are available on the MSD website.

Comments on the changes are in the media coverage below.

Background information

See previous NZFVC news story "Ministry for Vulnerable Children" name criticised as replacement for Child, Youth and Family (August 2016)

Media

Vulnerable Children's Minister Anne Tolley: 'I'll call it, 'my ministry', Stuff, 19.08.2016

NZ Nurses Organisation Kaiwhakahaere supports ‘Oranga Tamariki’ name, Māori TV, 19.08.2016 

Children's Commissioner will not use English name of new ministry, NZ Herald, 18.08.2016

'Ministry for Vulnerable Children' ignores those who have spent their professional lives working with children, Opinion: Katie Kenny, Stuff, 18.08.2016

Govt confirms new Ministry for Vulnerable Children, Radio NZ, 18.08.2016

Challenges for new Ministry for Vulnerable Children, Press Release: Social Service Providers Aotearoa, 18.08.2016

New Ministry should be for all children, Press Release: Green Party, 18.08.2016

New ministry should look after all children, Press Release: New Zealand Labour Party, 18.08.2016

New ministry dedicated to care and protection, Beehive: Anne Tolley, 18.08.2016

PM announces new ministerial portfolio, Beehive: John Key, 18.08.2016

Investing in New Zealand's Children and Their Families, Press release: Ministry of Social Development, 18.08.2016

New 'Ministry for Vulnerable Children' boss to lead culture change, Tolley says, Stuff, 18.08.2016

Law allows information sharing about vulnerable children now, Press Release: Office of the Privacy Commissioner, Scoop, 18.08.2016

Shameful child abuse record prompts protection for officials sharing info about at-risk children, One News, 17.08.2016

Former private sector aged-care boss Grainne Moss to head new state carer, Stuff, 15.08.2016