New Ministry for Vulnerable Children risks missing the vital role of family

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The announcement of a new Ministry for Vulnerable Children risks removing the vital focus on whānau and communities, says the union of nearly 2,500 people who currently work at the Ministry’s predecessor, Child Youth and Family (CYF).

“People working at CYF have been clearly stating for years that workloads and underfunding are the biggest barrier to them being able to do their jobs,” Public Service Association national secretary Glenn Barclay says.

“For years now the Government has had the opportunity to take action to properly fund CYF, but instead they’ve chosen to put their money elsewhere.

“Social workers are tasked with walking alongside families, supporting them to thrive – but this narrower focus risks increasing punitive measures instead of long term solutions.

“To properly support all children, we need to support their whānau and communities, and the narrow target implied by the new Ministry’s name risks missing this.

“The Government is making some of the right sounds but by ignoring the expertise of those on the front line, they risk making things worse.

“The people working at CYF must be resourced and supported to help children and families, no matter what their agency is called,” said Mr Barclay.