Ministers launch Action Plan to support vulnerable children

  • Paula Bennett
  • Hekia Parata
  • Tony Ryall
Social Development Education Health

Ministers Tony Ryall, Hekia Parata and Paula Bennett have today set out how the social sector will deliver the Prime Minister’s challenge for better public services for vulnerable children.



Launching the ‘Supporting Vulnerable Children Result Action Plan’ at Parliament today, Health Minister Tony Ryall said “By doing better, earlier, for vulnerable children, we can set them on a pathway to a more positive future.”



Education Minister Hekia Parata said, “We know that early intervention benefits young children in terms of better health, reduced imprisonment and arrest rates, higher employment and higher earnings later in life.”



The Ministers are targeting four key areas - building on record immunisation rates, reducing the rate of rheumatic fever, increasing participation in quality early childhood education and reducing the number of assaults on children.



Social Development Minister Paula Bennett said social sector agencies have already begun working closely together on the four key actions.



“They will share information to identify who our vulnerable children are and how we can help them better. We’ll make sure third party providers are the right ones to make a proven difference. And our frontline workers will work together more – there are already a number of joint initiatives in place across health, education and social services that are making a real difference.”



Health Minister Tony Ryall said some of the targets were ambitious and would be a challenge for public services, given the improvements in some areas already.



“But we owe it to children to do all we can to keep them healthy, encourage them early to learn and protect them from harm.”



Mrs Bennett and Mrs Parata said “We know there is a link between early childhood experiences and adult chronic illness, mental health issues, drug and alcohol abuse, poor educational outcomes and unemployment.



“The human and financial costs of not facing up to these challenges are too high.”

Read ‘Delivering better public services. Supporting vulnerable children result action plan’ at:

www.msd.govt.nz/about-msd-and-our-work/work-programmes/better-public-services/supporting-vulnerable-children/index.html