Changing the age of care for young people in state care up to 21 is a good step, but will need better financial resourcing to work, the Green Party said today.
Young people will soon have increased levels of support available past the age of 17 under new Child, Youth, and Family (CYF) reforms that the Government has announced today. The age of care is being increased for young people in state care to 21 years old, with transition support and advice available up to 25.
“Young people in care need extra support during a sometimes tricky transition to adulthood, but that promise needs to be backed up with enough resources to make it work,” Green Party social development spokesperson Jan Logie said.
“I have heard many concerns from families and people in the sector about how this will be implemented, and whether it will properly resourced.
“The real test for these reforms will come at Budget time when we will see whether the Government is willing to commit the money needed to make them work.
“Reforming CYF, and the state of care, is one part of the solution for families. The families that need help with their kids also need a living wage, healthy and secure housing, and access to high quality early childhood, primary and secondary education.
“As well as focusing on what happens after young people are in CYF’s system, more resources need to go into supporting families and whānau to keep children within their care.
"Within CYF, there aren't enough social workers to support the carers, and families are left waiting.
“There is no magic wand to wave at entrenched social problems, but having a Government committed to long-term solutions of supporting and empowering families will be better in the long term,” Ms Logie said.