Gráinne's update - Budget 2020
Published: May 20, 2020
Chief Executive Gráinne Moss talks about the Government’s Budget, and how it is putting money right where it’s needed.
The past few days have been significant for the country as we’ve reunited with friends and whānau, started planning for how we’ll move back into our workplaces and schools, and begun to fathom what the recovery phase of COVID-19 will look like for us.
It has also been a significant few days as the Treasury announced Budget 2020 and the economic response package that will help New Zealand move through the recovery phase.
We know COVID-19 has had a huge impact on our communities with financial pressure, stress and mental wellbeing being challenges that many families are facing. What’s important now is that we are resourced to support our most at risk.
We are very pleased to say that Oranga Tamariki is among those that Budget 2020 will support to do this by putting money right where it’s needed – directly into the hands of those in our communities who keep rangatahi and tamariki safe and cared for, including whānau Māori, NGOs and caregivers.
Importantly, Budget 2020 also continues to build on the work of the 2019 Wellbeing Budget, where a sizeable investment was committed to transform the Care system to deliver on our high aspirations for children.
Our funding initiatives
We are delighted that, through Budget 2020 and the COVID-19 Response and Recovery Fund, Oranga Tamariki has received additional funding to support our children, our caregivers, and our partners.
With this Oranga Tamariki will continue to grow and support the work that iwi, Māori and NGO partners do every day to help children, families and communities achieve their goals and improve their wellbeing.
Helping families get earlier support so that Oranga Tamariki does not need to be formally involved is a key goal.
These services are facing particular challenges with recruitment and retention of qualified and experienced staff who can connect with people and families and provide the support that they need.
That’s why the Government is investing an additional $57.7 million over four years to help meet the immediate cost pressures of partners that provide this early support.
The Government is also committing to a joint approach between Oranga Tamariki and Police designed to help children and young people experiencing family violence.
Support for caregivers
We know that COVID-19 has put immense pressure on our caregiving households, and our Caregiver Recruitment and Support teams have been working incredibly hard to provide support where and when it has been needed.
Now, through Budget 2020, we will see a $25 per week per child increase to the base rate of the Foster Care Allowance, Unsupported Child’s Benefit and Orphan’s Benefit. This is a very important investment valuing the significant role played by the 14,000 caregivers, many of whom are whānau caregivers, who have stepped up at a time of need and are caring for 22,000 children across the motu.
In addition to this, over the next year, we will also be able to support our caregivers with 20 days of paid respite care. This is a huge increase from the two days of paid respite care they currently receive. It will ensure they are taking the breaks they need so they can be at their best for the tamariki they care for, and the ability of caregivers to continue to support over the long-term.
In total $209.9 million is being invested in caregivers over the next four years. It is wonderful to see our valued caregivers receive these additional funds and support, and also see the continuation of the changes caregivers are seeing through the introduction of the National Care Standards – particularly with their Caregiver Support Plans – and better support through our Caregiver Recruitment and Support teams.
Find out more
More detail about our funding and initiatives is on the Budget 2020 page on our website. Do take a look. Along with what we’ve achieved as country in the fight against COVID-19, this funding gives us much to celebrate.
Ngā mihi nui ki a koutou katoa.
Oranga Tamariki Chief Executive