Friday, August 13, 2010

Political management or political cop-out?

Did anyone notice that the Minister for Social Development did not commenmt on the Welfare Working Group's Issues paper? First the lack of comment was put down to her not having read it yet. Then the PM made a response that at least some of the recommendations from the next paper would be adopted. Then... that was it. (Nobody front-footed a defence of the paper against opposition criticisms.)

But on Wednesday morning the Minister went on Breakfast TV to announce a "new" scheme, Home For Life. The scheme would see more permanency for children whose own parents could not look after them. Certainly a good news story with little political risk.

The scheme has in fact been operating for a while.

March 24, 2010

Finding a ‘home for life’ for children and young people
in care is a primary focus for Child, Youth and Family.
This means that as soon as a child comes into care, we
will work towards finding them a permanent home,
either with their own family, extended whänau, or a
new family they can call their own.

“We know the best thing for children in care is a
safe and stable place to call home, where they have
the opportunity to build a strong and nurturing
attachment to the people who are caring for them,”
says Ray Smith, head of Child, Youth and Family.

“This makes the single greatest difference in helping
children in care grow into secure adults.”

A ‘home for life’ project has been established to look
at ways we can strengthen our efforts in finding
permanent homes for kids in care. “We want to
identify ways we can remove uncertainty and provide
support for caregivers so they can be confident about
offering a home for life,” says Karen Petrie, who is
leading the project. “It’s our job to do what’s best for
children and young people in care, and keep them at
the centre of our decision making at all times.”

Last month, Ray met with Family Court judges, to talk
about how we can work together to keep the child at
the centre of decision making. “It’s about building a
relationship of trust, so that we all feel confident we
are doing what’s best for the child,” he says.

“Being in care should be a process towards finding a
home, it should never be the end point for children
and young people,” says Ray. “All children and young
people deserve a family who will keep them safe and
well cared for, a home to call their own, and a sense
that they belong.”


Anonymous said...

Cop-out. Huge cop-out.

There's no need to wait for the next paper or the next working group or the next election.

Just abolish every single benefit now from the Dole to the DPB to Sickness to Invalids to WFF and especially Super - the Codger Dole!

All NZ knows that it needs to be done - but no-one has the guts.

Anonymous said...

Speaking of "guts" I wonder when Paula is getting the stomach stapled?