New reports and OIA responses on children from Oranga Tamariki and more

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Oranga Tamariki - Ministry for Children and other agencies have produced reports about the state of children in Aotearoa New Zealand. Many of these focus on children in state care.

Oranga Tamariki - Ministry for Children national care standards

The Ministry has been working on developing national standards for children who are in care. The Ministry website states:

The care standards will clearly set out what children and young people can expect while they’re in care, and what caregivers can expect when they have children in their care.

These standards will outline the responsibilities for Oranga Tamariki and organisations that have a child or young person in their care or custody under the Oranga Tamariki Act 1989 [formerly the Children, Young Persons, and Their Families Act 1989].

The Minister for Children is required by the Oranga Tamariki Act 1989 to recommend regulations for standards of care by 13 July 2018. The regulations establish actions that must be taken to make sure children and young people receive an appropriate standard of care. The Ministry has released a Cabinet paper and Regulatory Impact Statement (RIS) on the national care standards. The cabinet paper outlines proposed regulations and supporting recommendations. The RIS provides the Ministry’s advice on the impact of the proposals.

Oranga Tamariki - Ministry for Children reports and OIA responses

The Ministry has published evaluation findings and a report on the impact of the Social Workers in Schools service. A report has also been published on youth remand trends. An evaluation of the Inside Out resources and teaching guides has found the resource does make a positive difference to LGBTI (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transsexual, intersex) young people at school. See the Oranga Tamariki website for other reports.

The Ministry is also publishing selected responses to Official Information Act (OIA) requests received by the Ministry on their website. A number of recent requests relate to social worker staffing at the Ministry and former Child, Youth and Family services. 

Other recent reports on children in care and children's rights

The Children’s Convention Monitoring Group has published the report Getting It Right: Building Blocks (2018). The report looks at progress on and opportunities to improve children's rights in Aotearoa New Zealand. For more information see our previous stories NZ monitoring group publishes report on international rights of children and UNCROC publishes concluding observations on the rights of the child.

Researchers Bénédicte Rouland and Rhema Vaithianathan from Auckland University of Technology have published findings from research into the number of notifications to child protective services, substantiated maltreatment cases and out-of-home placements. The researchers used data from the Integrated Data Infrastructure for the research. They found that almost 1 in 4 children had been subject to at least one report to child protective services at age 17 years and 10% had been a victim of substantiated abuse or neglect.

Related news - social worker registration and pay equity

The Social Services and Community Select Committee has published recommendations on the Social Workers Registration Legislation Bill. This is the omnibus bill that proposes amendments to the Social Workers Registration Act 2003. The amendments would restrict the use of the term "social worker" to people who are registered. The Committee has recommended the legislation be passed with amendments. The Ministry of Social Development has published a departmental report and a supplementary departmental report. For background information see our previous story on the proposed legislation to make social work registration mandatory. See media links below for responses to the Select Committee report from the sector.

The Government has announced an agreement with unions to apply the new Government pay equity principles to current pay equity claims. One of the first claims that will be progressed is the Public Service Association's claim for social workers employed by the Ministry of Social Development and Oranga Tamariki - Ministry for Children. Social Service Providers Aotearoa (SSPA) welcomed the news, but said the Government needs to increase funding for non-government organisations to be able "... to close the pay gap for community sector social workers." SSPA said Oranga Tamariki social workers are currently paid an estimated 18 to 20% more than NGO social workers.

Selected and related media

The Nation: Social Development Minister Carmel Sepuloni, Press Release: The Nation, Scoop, 28.04.2018

Deep flaw in report-back on social worker registration, Press Release: Social Service Providers Aotearoa, Scoop, 24.04.2018

Social workers call for govt to scrap registration bill, Radio NZ, 24.04.2018

Emanuel Stoakes: Bill poses threat to social workers, Opinion, NZ Herald, 24.04.2018

An Opportunity Missed? A Failure to Listen? And whose advice was privileged?; Guest blog post by Kieran O’Donoghue, Associate Professor in Social Work, Massey University; Re-Imagining Social Work in Aotearoa New Zealand; 20.04.2018

ANZASW Response to Report on Registration Legislation Bill, Press Release: ANZASW, Scoop, 19.04.2018

Abuse and neglect amid 163 complaints upheld against early childhood education services, Stuff, 13.04.2018

Ministry upholds 163 complaints against ECE services, Radio NZ, 12.04.2018

Shocking complaints emerge in new childcare report, Newshub, 12.04.2018

Government heeding call for unrelenting focus on child wellbeing, Beehive press release, 11.04.2018

Children's Commissioner calls for change to bring NZ in line with UN for children's rights, Stuff, 11.04.2018

Missing piece in social worker registration bill, Press release, Social Service Providers Aotearoa, March 2018

Children's Convention Monitoring Group releases report to better child wellbeing, NZ Herald, 11.04.2018

Call for end to ad hoc policy on children as government focuses on addressing child poverty, One News, 11.04.2018

CPAG welcomes new report on Children's Rights, Press release: Child Poverty Action Group, 11.04.2018

Oranga Tamariki turns 1, Māori Television, 03.04.2018

Record number of children in state care - more than 6000, Radio NZ, 03.04.2018

Twelve Questions with Big-data expert Rhema Vaithianathan, NZ Herald, 27.03.2018

One in four kids reported to child protection - Report, Māori Television, 07.03.2018

A quarter of Kiwi kids reported to child protection services, AUT study reveals, NZ Herald, 07.03.2018

Tracey Martin: Kiwi parents shouldn't feel ashamed to ask for help, Newstalk ZB, 07.03.2018

'Something is wrong with how Kiwis treat children', Newstalk ZB, 07.03.2018