Voluntary out-of-home care to be reviewed – Government

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Source: New Zealand Government – Voluntary out-of-home care to be reviewed

Disability Issues Minister Nicky Wagner says the Government wants to hear from families, children and service providers involved with supporting disabled children, as part of a review of the system for voluntary out-of-home placements.

“All parents want what is best for their children. In a small number of cases severely disabled children, who can no longer be cared for at home, are cared for in voluntary out-of-home placements. This review is about ensuring that the needs of the child always come first,” Ms Wagner says.

“As at August there were 48 disabled children in out-of-home placements in New Zealand. The review will draw on the experience of disabled children, their families and those who support them, to find how the system can better help them.

“Consultation starts today and continues until 29 May. People can make written or online submissions or attend one of the consultation events being held throughout New Zealand.

“The review seeks to build on existing improvements to the support of disabled children, including better monitoring of care agreements and a requirement for home supports to be thoroughly explored before a disabled child is moved to an out-of-home placement.

“The United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities requires Governments to actively involve disabled people, including disabled children, in the development and implementation of policies.

“We are seeking input from those who are directly affected to help us shape a better service for disabled children so they are safe, strong, thriving and, where possible, living with families and whanau,” Ms Wagner says.

The review covers sections 141 and 142 of the Children, Young Persons, and Their Families Act 1989 – the provisions of the Act used for placing severely disabled children, who can no longer be cared for at home, in the care of an approved organisation.

More information about the review process, including how people can have their say, can be found at www.msd.govt.nz/disabled-children-project

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Selwyn Manning, BCS (Hons.) MCS (Hons.) is an investigative political journalist with 23 years media experience. He specializes in reportage and analysis of socioeconomics, politics, foreign affairs, and security/intelligence issues. Selwyn has extensive experience as a commentator and has provided live political analysis to a wide range of television and radio organizations broadcasting in New Zealand, Australia and globally including the BBC (Five Live, London) and BBC (World Service). He is currently a correspondent to Australia's FiveAA radio, and is a regular live-on-air panelist on Radio New Zealand's The Panel with broadcaster Jim Mora.

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