What are we doing to help break cycles of disadvantage and intergenerational poverty?
There are also a number of Budget 2021 initiatives that are likely to have a positive impact on the wider wellbeing of some children living in poverty and may also help break cycles of disadvantage and intergenerational poverty over the longer term. These include initiatives related to child development, whānau wellbeing, mental health, prisoner reintegration, child protection and family violence.
Changes to support children in State Care
- We're improving financial assistance for caregivers by aligning the standard payments received when caring for children both inside and outside the State Care system. Through Budget 2021 we’re also providing funding to meet the increased costs of assessed needs, such as education and health, of children in Oranga Tamariki's care.
- We're also supporting Oranga Tamariki's partners to lead a shift in the way that government supports tamariki and whānau in greatest need. This funding will support Māori to develop, design, and deliver solutions to ensure that tamariki Māori are thriving under the protection of whānau, hapū, iwi and hapori Māori.
Changes to address harm caused by family and sexual violence
- We want all children to live in safe homes which is why we're continuing our actions to prevent family and sexual violence. This includes sustaining current multi-agency safety responses designed to ensure the immediate safety of victims and children, and to work with perpetrators to prevent further violence. These place-based models and crisis responses provide foundations for the design and success of integrated, community-led, whānau-centred approaches.
Changes to support whānau through the justice system
- We are providing additional legal aid funding to cover increasing costs and demand and making changes to safeguard child wellbeing in the family justice system by enabling faster resolution of disputes in the Family Court. We are also taking action to support Te Pae Oranga iwi community panels by establishing 12 additional locations over four years, and to improve Kaupapa Māori Services for Wāhine in the care and management of Corrections in Ōtautahi and across the wider Canterbury region.
Changes in the education sector to support how children learn
- We're investing in System Infrastructure for the Equity Index (replacing the current decile system). This will ensure schools and kura are best supported to mitigate the socio-economic barriers faced by learners, the wider school community and whānau.
- We are supporting learners through an additional 7,500 student places in the Attendance Service to enable them to attend school regularly, as well as alleviating cost pressures for alternative education services. Through our investment in the Reform of Tomorrow's Schools we are giving staff in the regions the resources to respond more quickly and identify local solutions to some of the emerging needs.
- We are also continuing the Mana Ake initiative to make mental health support available to all primary and intermediate school-age students in Canterbury and Kaikōura. Utilising the learnings from Canterbury and Kaikōura, we are also assisting the co-design of mental wellbeing supports in primary and intermediate schools in five new District Health Board areas.