CYF reform bill needs to go back to the drawing board

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Opposition parties should speak out strongly about the rushed and inadequate reforms to the laws around young people - and vote them down, the PSA says.

The first legislative reforms to the Children Young Persons and their Families Act have been reported back from select committee, with Labour and the Greens making strong objections to some aspects.

The PSA welcomes the strong minority reports, which both identify huge risks in the government’s proposal to delegate all the functions of social workers to anyone inside or outside the state sector.

It’s urging all parties, including the Maori Party, to oppose the legislation - and go back to the drawing board with a more considered approach.

"The current legislation will make the system even more fragmented, and leave the way open for private companies to pick up these contracts on a for-profit basis", PSA National Secretary Glenn Barclay says.

"We accept that the system needs reform, and that some parts of this legislation will do good - like raising the age of state care to 18, and setting up a new agency to advocate for children.

"But the risks far outweigh those benefits.

"Opposing the legislation would make a strong statement that these reforms are ill-thought-out and need far, far more work.

"These reforms will be hard to undo once they’re put in place.

"We would enthusiastically support new legislation in 2017 that raised the age of care, increased participation for children and young people - and supported social workers to do their jobs."