A new briefing paper released by UNICEF NZ, entitled “What Will it Take”, summarises the common themes from 80 organisations’(including Rural Women New Zealand) recent submissions to the Government’s Green Paper on Vulnerable Children. “What Will it Take” is intended to help drive discussion and inform debate ahead of the Government’s White Paper for children.
There are strong similar themes amongst submissions from all organisations. The most common theme in submissions is that the best way to do better for vulnerable children is to do better for all children. In addition, the submissions call for: an Action Plan for all children; priority to be given to investing in children and their wellbeing; increased emphasis on proactively looking for ways to support families and communities in their role of nurturing children; work to eliminate violence in families and communities and address inequities, especially child poverty.
The briefing paper makes 10 recommendations across four broad areas (sharing responsibilities, showing leadership, child-centred policy, child-centred practice). The main recommendations include:
• Government acknowledges and meets its fundamental responsibility by shaping, maintaining and promoting a child and family-friendly society;
• parents are fully supported to meet their responsibilities by having access to a wide range of free or affordable support services;
• community-led initiatives are encouraged and enabled;
• local government is recognized as having a critical social role in local communities;
• an Action Plan for all children in NZ be developed and put in place;
• investment be made in joint workforce development, including the development of a common set of values, standards and protocols, but not at the expense of service delivery to children; and
• positive and effective approaches to service delivery and community building be shared and their use encouraged.
“What Will it Take”, including further background information, can be viewed by clicking HERE