In conversation -- remodelling CYF

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Sandford-Reed, , Lucy
McNabb, David
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Conference Contribution - Oral Presentation
Ngā Upoko Tukutuku (Māori subject headings)
Child, Youth and Family (N.Z.)
government departmental reviews
social services
Sandford-Reed, Lucy., & McNabb, David. (2015, September). In conversation -- remodelling CYF. Ross, Amy (Ed.), CYF Review: Let's Get Real (pp.8-10).
As many of you have also voiced, we have concerns about the current CYF Review. Our contention is the review is not wide enough, instead relying on a siloed approach to fix a wider problem. We also believe the continued focus on a narrow outcome-focused approach, with black-and-white “results”, is a crude measure and fails to put children, families and communities at the centre of our system. So while we have many, many good practitioners and pockets of excellence, the overall system is failing our children, our families, and our communities. The review also signals changes to the investment approach within the social services system that are of concern. This approach seems to define New Zealand citizens in a one-dimensional way as “clients” or “choosing consumers”. In the case of children and families this is a particularly worrying viewpoint. There seems to be an emphasis on privatising services. We believe this could have long-lasting effects on the system (as recent privatisation issues in other sectors have illustrated). Through the establishment of the panel and the terms of reference, the CYF Review also undermines the sector and social workers. For example, there is a valid concern about possible legislative changes to the Children, Young Persons, and Their Families Act 1989 which may deprofessionalise social worker roles. Unitec lecturer Peter Matthewson has written an insightful blog on this issue. While the review does not have a real consultation process built in, we, like all of you who are here today, feel this is too an important a discussion to be left out of.
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