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Minister for Children Anne Tolley says she intends to write to Parliament’s Social Services Committee to propose changing the name of the Children, Young Persons, and Their Families Act 1989 (the CYPF Act) to the Oranga Tamariki Act, to reflect the nature and wide-reaching scope of changes that are taking place through the overhaul of care and protection.

“By changing the name of the Act we would be demonstrating that the new system for care and protection, under the Ministry for Vulnerable Children, Oranga Tamariki, will be more than a rejig or a rebrand of CYF, and one in which the safety and wellbeing of the child comes before everything else,” says Mrs Tolley.

“The new legislation is much more wide-reaching and incorporates the new child-centred way of working, from early intervention all the way through to transition into adulthood for vulnerable children and young people, rather than the current model which reacts to crises.

“We have already passed legislation to amend the CYPF Act which extends the age of state care and protection to a young person’s 18th birthday, ensures that the views of children and young people are taken into account in individual decisions and services and policies which affect them, and supports the establishment of an independent youth advocacy service.

“A second major piece of legislation to amend the CYPF Act, the Children, Young Persons, and Their Families (Oranga Tamariki) Legislation Bill, is at the select committee stage in Parliament at the moment, and I will be asking the Social Services Committee to consult with oral submitters on the potential name change.”

Notes for editors:

Proposals in the Children, Young Persons, and Their Families (Oranga Tamariki) Legislation Bill include:

Allowing young people to remain in care or return to care up until the age of 21, with transition support and advice available up to 25 Enabling the establishment of an information sharing framework to keep vulnerable children and young people safe from harm Extending the youth justice system to include lower-risk 17 year olds

The Bill also includes changes to the purposes and principles of the Act to:

place children and young people at the centre of decision-making and  consider them within the context of their families, whanau, hapu and iwi and broader networks and communities support families, whanau, hapu, iwi and caregivers and enable them to provide a safe, stable and loving home strengthen the relationships between children and young people and their family, whanau, hapu, and iwi, especially between siblings.

When making decisions under the CYPF Act, decision-makers will need to consider:

The family, whanau and usual caregiver are strengthened and supported to enable them to care for the child or young person Wherever possible the relationship between the child or young person and their family, whanau and usual caregiver is respected, supported and strengthened, and The family, whanau, hapu, iwi and usual caregiver have a voice and a role in decisions made about the child or young person.

 

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