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Govt overhaul of state care set in motion

NZ NewswireNZ Newswire 1/06/2016

The government has taken the first step in its major overhaul of the way the state cares for vulnerable children, introducing proposed new legislation to parliament.

The Children, Young Persons and Their Families (Advocacy, Workforce, and Age Settings) Amendment Bill will make a number of changes, including extending the age of state care to 18 and establishing a new youth advocacy service.

It's part of Social Development Minister Anne Tolley's reform of state care, prompted by an independent panel's two damning reports into Child, Youth and Family.

Ms Tolley wants an entirely new agency to replace CYF in place by the end of March next year.

"The government is determined to make a difference in the lives of young people who come into contact with state care," she said.

The bill introduced to parliament on Wednesday is the first in a raft of legislative changes that will be needed as part of the reforms.

As well as raising the age of state care to 18, the government also wants to be able to offer transitional support to young people until they turn 25.

Work on how to do this is continuing.

Last week's budget set aside $200 million to fund the state care reforms.

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