Social Development Minister Anne Tolley released an interim report of the panel established to review Child, Youth and Family, on 24 September 2015.
The report, Modernising Child, Youth and Family, concludes that "While there are pockets of good practice, and a committed frontline workforce who strive to do a good job, the system as a whole is not delivering effectively for vulnerable children and young people."
The report states "the overall assessment of the Panel is that fundamental changes to the operating model are required for CYF to achieve all of the objectives relating to care, protection and youth justice, including:
i. A child-centred system where the new operating model of CYF, and the culture, services, practice, governance, processes and systems of all key providers and agencies, is oriented around the needs and voice of the child or young person.
ii. An investment approach that takes a lifetime view of costs and benefits and directs effort and capability towards earlier intervention for vulnerable children.
iii. A professional practice framework that provides the guidance, tools and information to support staff to make evidence-based professional judgement.
iv. Engaging New Zealanders to improve awareness of children within the care and protection and youth justice system and to encourage New Zealanders and agencies to take action to support vulnerable children and young people and provide them with safe, loving and stable family care."
The report says the Panel has "developed the purpose, principles and objectives for the future care, protection and youth justice system, identified the key shifts required to the future operating model and developed a design process for the next phase of work. The next phase of work will look at the design of the desired future experience for children and young people, and the operating model to deliver this."
The report acknowledges implementing these recommendations will require legislative change in a number of areas and changes to other programmes of work which relate to services for "vulnerable children." The panel also identified work that can begin immediately including:
- Conducting a feasibility study of an investment approach to improving outcomes for vulnerable children. The study is to be commissioned by the Ministry of Social Development on behalf of the Panel, and the findings will inform the Panel's second report.
- Engaging with the philanthropic sector to establish a new advocacy service which strengthens the voice of New Zealand children and young people.
- Examining fragmentation of services within the boundaries of MSD and CYF.
The next phase of work to develop the future operating model will include more detailed design of the processes, systems, roles and responsibilities required within CYF. The Panel says it intends to use a collaborative design approach by engaging with children, young people and their families who have had contact with CYF. The panel also will test, challenge and refine the design work with the Youth Advisory Group, a Māori reference group and a Practice Reference Group. The panel is due to provide a detailed business case including costings to the Minister by December 2015.
Minister Tolley said "This high level business case for change is extremely compelling and concerning. It provides a vital overview which is being used to design our radical overhaul of the CYF system, which I have no doubt will require targeted additional investment and reprioritisation of resources to get the best possible results for our vulnerable young people. There is no quick fix over a few days or months. We need a significant shift in thinking together with a comprehensive plan to be rolled out in the years ahead. The whole country has to take ownership of this situation. We cannot say that these children are someone else’s problem. Government agencies need to work together and communities need to play their part, to make a difference for these vulnerable kids."
In April 2015, Minister Tolley announced the establishment of the Panel, led by Paula Rebstock, to provide advice on a future operating model of Child Youth and Family.
Responses to the report are in the media coverage below. This also includes responses to Ms Tolley's suggestion that the state would be "far more proactive" about encouraging women who have previously had children removed from their care to use contraception.
The Public Services Association (PSA) released the report CYF Review - Let's Get Real: Key discussion points from the symposium on the CYF Review on 23 September 2015, celebrating New Zealand Social Workers Day. The report summarises the results of a social workers' symposium held on the review in August, hosted by the PSA and Unitec’s Department of Social Practice. It states that the review ignores underfunding of the sector as a driver of systemic issues in child protection. Stating that the symposium was an opportunity for social workers to speak on the review, it notes:
"Missing in the make-up of the panel were the voices of those closest to the issues: practitioners, local nongovernmental organisation leaders and experienced advocates for carers and children. Where were the spokespeople for Māori and Pasifika communities who work every day to support the health and well-being of their people, and whose children are so disproportionality caught up in the care and protection system? The child welfare and family violence researchers who have worked tirelessly to inform policy and practice?"
PSA National Secretary Richard Wagstaff said "For the last decade social workers have been asked to do more with less. Minister Tolley needs to address the dangerous resourcing shortages within the system before she can make informed decisions about the state of CYF. The CYF Review is a behind-closed-doors discussion between a few so-called experts, and many believe it is set up to provide an excuse for privatising public services. The PSA has met with numerous social workers and others with an interest in this issue, including hosting a symposium to give stakeholders a voice they have been denied by the expert panel. We call on minister Tolley to step back from making hasty decisions based on a one-sided review."
Other recent, relevant reports include:
In July 2015, a Member's Bill was introduced to Parliament which seeks to make registration mandatory for social workers.
Adult court no place for 17-year-olds under proposed changes, One News, 07.03.2016
Anne Tolley wanted to pay CYF panel chair $3000 a day, Radio NZ, 18.11.2015
Working tirelessly to make children safe, Gisborne Herald, 02.11.2015
GRG Founder Calls for Better Support for the “Unsung Heroes”, Press Release: Grandparents Raising Grandchildren, Scoop, 28.10.2015
Focus on tamariki from Maori Party hui, Waatea News, 19.10.2015
Opinion: Nicola Young: Overpaid bigwigs can't be worth that much, Wanganui Chronicle, 18.10.2015
Opinion: Labour needs to get over pretend class envy, Stuff, 17.10.2015
'A lot of work to do' to tackle child abuse, Paul Henry, 15.10.2015
Tolley defends Govt paying CYF 'trouble-shooter' $2K a day, TVNZ, 14.10.2015
Moira Lawler: Finding better ways to help troubled families, NZ Herald, 13.10.2015
CYF review panel head cost defended, 3 News, 13.10.2015
Andrew Little: $2000 a day bill for Paula Rebstock CYF work 'a disgrace', Stuff, 13.10.2015
CYF's $2000-a-day reviewer under fire, NZ Herald, 13.10.2015
CYF reviewer 'worth' $2000 a day, Radio NZ, 13.10.2015
Opinion: Making a difference for children in state care, Dominion Post, 10.10.2015
Anatomy of a failure: is CYFs failing our most vulnerable?, The Press, 10.10.2015
HRC support Maori Women's Welfare League, Press Release: Human Rights Commission, Scoop, 07.10.2015
Children let down for decades, Gisborne Herald, 07.10.2015
Peters: Circus or Soap Opera and Foreseen Circumstances, Press Release: NZ First Party, Scoop, 05.10.2015
Opinion: Falling deeper into the mire, Otago Daily Times, 05.10.2015
Blog: Ensuring vulnerable children are properly cared for, Sunlive, no date.
Jacinda Ardern backs CYF review, Marlborough Express, 01.10.2015
Anne Tolley: 'We need to talk' and it might get uncomfortable, Stuff, 01.10.2015
Annah Stretton: Work with Mum to keep kids home, NZ Herald, 01.10.2015
Opinion: Helping our vulnerable families, Otago Daily Times, 01.10.2015
Editorial: Drop cheap talk of a baby ban, Dominion Post, 30.09.2015
SAFVPN Challenges the Stigma of Abuse, Press Release: Safer Aotearoa Family Violence Prevention Network, Scoop, 30.09.2015
Opinion: CYF kids need extra care and love, Stuff, 30.09.2015
Tolley shows she is up for tough calls when CYF review complete, Gisborne Herald, 29.09.2015
Tolley no advocate for compulsory sterilisation of women, NewsTalk ZB, 29.09.2015
Govt 'can't force contraception on parents', Paul Henry, 29.09.2015
Anne Tolley : Hands off Te Whare Tangata, Press Release: Te Awhi Paa Trust, 29.09.2015
Boy 'used as cash cow', NZ Herald, 29.09.2015
Analysing catalogue of misery, NZ Herald, 29.09.2015
State May Need Tougher Line on Contraception: Tolley, Press Release: Television New Zealand, Business Scoop, 28.09.2015
Tim's Take: No To Sterilisation, NewsTalk ZB, 28.09.2015
Minister considers 'tricky subject' of family size, Radio NZ, 28.09.2015
Some women should avoid pregnancy: Tolley, NZ City, 28.09.2015
Tolley: Some parents 'simply unable' to look after kids, 3 News, 28.09.2015
Native Affairs - State of Care - Part 1, Maori TV, 28.09.2015
Native Affairs - State of Care - Part 2, Maori TV, 28.09.2015
'They probably enjoy sex' - Tolley's theory on why state care no deterrent to parenthood, TVNZ, 28.09.2015
Governments have failed to act to reduce our appalling record of child abuse, TVNZ, 28.09.2015
Teen left in cells 'volatile, violent' – CYF, 3 News, 28.09.2015
NZ Association of Psychotherapists respond to recent CYF report, Māori TV, 28.09.2015
Māori inclusion in CYF reform 'essential', Radio NZ, 28.09.2015
Girls moved by CYF to make way for boys, Radio NZ, 28.09.2015
Anne Tolley repeats call for struggling families to limit pregnancies, TVNZ, 28.09.2015
Anne Tolley supports CYF contraceptive advice, NZ Herald, 28.09.2015
State won't force contraception on women, but will be more 'proactive' with problem mums, Stuff, 28.09.2015
Review of Child Youth and Family, Press Release: NZ Association of Psychotherapists, Scoop, 28.09.2015
Anne Tolley supports CYF contraceptive advice, Rotorua Daily Post, 28.09.2015
Families with children in state care least likely to get contraceptive advice, Stuff, 28.09.2015
Minister suggests some parents could be discouraged from having more children, TVNZ, 27.09.2015
Tolley calls on more New Zealanders to foster, NewsTalk ZB, 27.09.2015
More need to become foster parents - Tolley, 3 News, 27.09.2015
More talk needed around actively encouraging parents to stop having kids, NZ Herald, 27.09.2015
Tolley: We need more CYFS caregiver volunteers, TVNZ, 27.09.2015
Māori communities must be part of the solution to tamariki, Press Release: Māori Party, 26.09.2015
'We need a better system' say CYF, NZ Herald, 26.09.2015
Serious allegations against CYF youth facility, Maori TV, 25.09.2015
Editorial: Richard Wagstaff: Private interests won't help vulnerable kids, NZ Herald, 25.09.2015
We all have role in protecting children: Wills, Hawke's Bay Today, 25.09.2015
Minister Tolley’s CYF review misses underfunding, Press Release: Public Service Association, 25.09.2015
PM questions wisdom of whanau first, Radio NZ, 25.09.2015
Optimism greets latest CYF review, NZ Herald, 25.09.2015
State care: three tales of survival, Radio NZ, 25.09.2015
Push to raise age kids exit state care, NZ City, 25.09.2015
Editorial: Major reform needed in state's care of young people, Dominion Post, 25.09.2015
Call for CYF to keep troubled kids for longer, NewsTalk ZB, 25.09.2015
Foster teen calls for longer state care, 3 News, 25.09.2015
Tolley: 'No way' Serco would run CYF, 3 News, 25.09.2015
Tolley 'ashamed' of 'horrific' stats in CYF report, 3 News, 24.09.2015
Serco managers visited CYF sites: Tolley, TVNZ, 24.09.2015
Speech to Fostering Kids New Zealand Conference, Beehive, 24.09.2015
Top 5 comments on CYF report, Stuff, 24.09.2015
CYF overhaul planned after horrifying stats on at-risk kids, TVNZ, 24.09.2015
Panel issue scathing report of Child, Youth and Family's performance, NZ Herald, 24.09.2015
We don't stop caring campaign, Press Release: Lifewise, 24.09.2015
Yet Another Report While Our Vulnerable Children Wait, Press Release: NZ First, 24.09.2015
CYFS’s radical overhaul should not include privatisation, Press Release: Green Party, Scoop, 24.09.2015
Don't make us survivors of our own childhood, says former CYF kid, Stuff, 24.09.2015
Children and young people must be at centre of decisions, Press Release: Ara Taiohi and Just Speak, Scoop, 24.09.2015
Intervention Called for at Youth Facility, Press Release: NZ First, Scoop, 24.09.2015
State of Care 2015 Report, Press Release: Social Service Providers Aotearoa, Scoop, 24.09.2015
The State is a poor defacto parent, Press Release: Māori Party, Scoop, 24.09.2015
CYF overhaul won't mean outsourcing – Tolley, 3 News, 24.09.2015
CYF overhaul plans unveiled, Radio NZ, 24.09.2015
'Horrifying' outcomes for CYF kids warrant a 'whole new model' - Tolley, Stuff, 24.09.2015
Tolley apologises over Serco link to CYF, NZ Herald, 24.09.2015
Changes ahead for Child Youth and Family, Māori TV, 24.09.2015
CYF failing children, needs major overhaul – report, 3 News, 24.09.2015
Child Youth and Family report welcomed by child advocate, Waikato Times, 24.09.2015
CYF failing vulnerable children: report, NZ City, 24.09.2015
Chorus of experts call for universal age of state child care to be raised to 21, Stuff, 24.09.2015
CYF overhaul must stop the tally of broken promises to vulnerable children, Stuff, 24.09.2015
“These are our children too” - Children’s Commissioner, Press Release: Office of the Children's Commissioner, 24.09.2015
Scathing CYF review sparks Government action, NewsTalk ZB, 24.09.2015
Report Backs Call for Independent CYF Watchdog, Press Release: Family First Lobby, Scoop, 24.09.2015
CYF review: Glaring problems, questions around solutions, Press Release: NZ Labour Party, Scoop, 24.09.2015
No plans for CYF privatisation, 3 News, 23.09.2015
NZ Initiative's Jenesa Jeram argues that the overhaul of Child, Youth and Family needs to be evidence-driven, The New Zealand Initiative, 07.09.2015
CYF private sector moves worry social work expert, Radio NZ, 01.09.2015