More funding for tamariki
The Hon Tracey Martin has announced that Oranga Tamariki is receiving more than $27 million to help us provide better support for tamariki.
Support for children and young people
Our CE Gráinne Moss and Minister for Children Tracey Martin visited the Lifewise supported living youth housing units to see and hear first-hand the positive outcomes of the Supported Living programme.
This is a joint initiative that supports young people exiting foster care, and helps them achieve independence. They also visited a youth home provided by Reconnect Family Services.
While there, Minister Martin announced additional funding is being released to expand initiatives to find more safe and stable places for children, reduce reliance on custodial remand and to support young people moving from care to independence.
This includes an additional $6.45 million for transition support services such as the Supported Living programme, which will allow us to develop a suite of ways to improve the outcomes for young people moving from care to independence.
“Most of these kids haven’t been to school for a while, we have time where we’re able to offer them programmes which get them into schooling.”
More care placements for kids
The funding also includes $15.7 million targeted towards improving the availability of care placements for children and young people. For some time we have known there is a shortage of care options for children and young people in emergency situations or with high needs.
We know we need to do better and we're focused on finding safe and stable placements for these tamariki and rangatahi.
This funding is great news because it will enable targeted crisis placements and increase our ability to coordinate placements with care providers. We will be able to look at creating more placement options, for example by partnering with organisations that provide care services.
Reducing reliance on custodial remand
There is also a further $1.25 million for us to extend a piloted decision making tool to help reduce reliance on custodial remand and institutional care.
We’ll work together with Police, Health, Education and others to provide better information to the Youth Court and ensure that only those that need the security of a custodial placement at a given point in time are in such placements. In the meantime, new remand homes around the country are providing more safe and appropriate placements for young people.