Oranga Tamariki – A Tipping Point?

Like many of us recently, I have watched the ‘baby uplift’ footage story featured in Newsroom and read some of the avalanche of concerned and outraged commentary that has followed. I found the story disturbing on many levels – extremely disturbing but, sadly, not surprising. I think that the practice on display and the media responses from the Oranga Tamariki hierarchy illustrate deep-seated systemic problems within the state child protection system in Aotearoa New Zealand.

Continue reading Oranga Tamariki – A Tipping Point?

Child Protection Visions – Sticks, Carrots and Care

Looking at the budget announcement of a new specialist support service delivered from 5 Oranga Tamariki sites “employing family/whanau support workers to support children and young people who are at risk of harm to be safe in their home”, I am pleased to see that at least some form of initiative has come to pass, albeit 3.5 years out from the Expert Panel recommendation for an intensive intervention programme. Having said that, this response remains seriously underwhelming. It reflects the inability of Oranga Tamariki and the current Government to get its priorities right in relation to child protection social work. In this post I will consider some of the challenges in moving child protection practice from a statutory care focus to a social work support focus. I will also explore some of the tensions arising from the conflicted legislative mandate within which this particular specialist support service will operate.

Continue reading Child Protection Visions – Sticks, Carrots and Care

Racism and social work in Aotearoa New Zealand: a Pākehā perspective

The following are my thoughts. I am Pākehā. I guess this makes them Pākehā thoughts – my Pākehā thoughts that is. I don’t have a problem acknowledging this and I think it is important to do so. I also think the following things.

Continue reading Racism and social work in Aotearoa New Zealand: a Pākehā perspective

Child, youth and family:  A review of reviews through the lens of cultural responsiveness

The guest blog post is by Miriama Scott no Ngati Kahungunu, Rangitane a member of the Tangata Whenua Social Workers Association, currently working as Maori Cultural and Clinical Liaison, Mauri Oho, Whirinaki, Counties Manukau District Health Board.

Miriama’s post comments on the recent history of Child, Youth and Family policy reviews. She highlights key aspects of previous reviews by extracting statements referring the need for cultural responsiveness to Māori whānau and mokopuna. Miriama challenges the current ‘Expert Panel’ to address the historic failures of prior policy statements.

Continue reading Child, youth and family:  A review of reviews through the lens of cultural responsiveness