Gráinne's update - November 2017

Published: October 31, 2017

Gráinne talks about what we've been working on over the last several months and where our focus is for the next year

Strides towards oranga tamariki

We are now over six months into our new agency and all over the country there are initiatives moving us forward on our journey to oranga tamariki.

We have new social workers coming on board, children and young people re-engaging in education. We’re removing barriers and testing new ways of doing things.

We have a new practice framework in development, new national care standards are being drafted, and we’ve start working on co-designing our Youth Justice system.

We’re in a very important time right now. We all have a unique opportunity to lead change and really transform outcomes for children.

It was great to see during the election campaign the passion and commitment to prioritise the wellbeing of tamariki, and this determination really make a difference in children’s lives, will allow us to drive change.

Supporting caregivers to provide nuturing homes

A few weeks ago I had the pleasure of attending the Fostering Kids ‘Celebrating Foster Care’ conference in Christchurch, alongside caregivers and others who work in the sector.

It was great to be able to acknowledge everything caregivers do, because they really influence tamariki to be great and reach their hopes and dreams. I know this is true as some of our own staff members were in care as children and they’re now thriving as successful professionals.

I am finding that you don’t have to look very hard at to find stories of care experienced rangitahi achieving excellence. I want to tell these stories more and more so that people feel proud to have been supported to thrive and that others can have role models.

Loving places, quality practice, stronger partnerships

Over the next 12 months we will focus on strengthening support for caregivers and increasing the number of safe and loving places available for children when home isn’t working.

This will mean better matching of children and young people with the right caregivers, and reducing the movement  from placement to placement. It will mean more tools for support and training, so children and young people can be well supported no matter what challenges they’re experiencing.

We’ll continue to move ahead in a more child-centred way as we implement our professional practice framework, with high aspirations for all our children and young people especially Māori. High quality social work changes lives and as a ministry we must drive and deliver consistently high quality practice.

Strong partnerships like the one we have with Fostering Kids mean strong services and better outcomes for our children and young people. So we will keep strengthening our links with others who share our high aspirations for tamariki.

Because working together, we can take strides towards a future where we share responsibility for the wellbeing of our children. A future where children know they are a valued part of a whānau and a community.

Ngā mihi