Child protection agreement signed between CYF and Ngati KahungunuSocial Development
Social Development Minister Paula Bennett has welcomed the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding between Child, Youth and Family and Ngati Kahungunu.
“This is a significant milestone for both Ngati Kahungunu, which is the third largest iwi in New Zealand, and Child, Youth and Family,” Mrs Bennett says.
Around 5,000 children are in the custody of Child, Youth and Family at any one time, and at December 2013, 286 of these children were affiliated with Ngati Kahungunu.
Around half of these children live with whanau, and 130 have been in care for over two years.
“This is the fourth such child protection agreement between iwi and Child, Youth and Family, and marks the formal beginning of a positive and progressive relationship where the needs of Ngati Kahungunu children are put front and centre.”
“Agreements already in place have resulted in improved information sharing, greater involvement of iwi in Family Group Conferences and joint visits where Child, Youth and Family social workers and iwi social services providers make home visits together.”
The agreement was signed by representatives from Ngati Kahungunu and Child, Youth and Family in Hastings today, and revolves around a strong commitment to developing a joint plan outlining the support services the iwi need for their children to thrive.
“These Memorandums of Understanding are an important part of Child, Youth and Family’s strategic plan, which aims to incorporate Maori values and beliefs into the work done to protect and nurture vulnerable children,” Mrs Bennett says.
“The agreements also work alongside the Children’s Action Plan by bringing the whole community into discussions and decisions around child protection.”
This agreement follows Memorandums of Understanding signed with Ngapuhi, Ngati Porou, and Waikato-Tainui.