The Child and Youth Wellbeing Strategy, launched on 29 August 2019, sets out a shared understanding of what’s important for child and youth wellbeing, what government is doing, and how others can help.
We want New Zealand to be a place where all children and young people are loved, confident, happy and healthy, and are empowered to reach their full potential.
The Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet led the development of the Strategy, in collaboration with other agencies and with the help of 10,000 New Zealanders – including over 6000 children and young people, who told us what makes for a good life and what gets in the way. It also draws on the best evidence from social science and cultural wellbeing frameworks.
The Strategy provides a unifying framework and way of aligning our efforts. It includes an aspirational vision, nine principles to guide the way we work, and six wellbeing outcomes that outline what children and young people want and need for a good life.
The Strategy includes a Current Programme of Action, which sets out the policies, initiatives, programmes and plans to help achieve the vision and outcomes. The programme brings together more than 75 actions and 49 supporting actions, led by 20 government agencies. These actions were backed by around $3.5 billion in funding to improve child wellbeing in Budget 2019. The Government will deliver on and add to these actions over the next 1–5 years. The Programme of Action will be updated as new actions commence.
The Strategy also clearly outlines how progress will be measured and reported on so that we can all see the difference being made and where more work might be needed.
Find out more – childyouthwellbeing.govt.nz
Prioritising greatest needs first
The future that young New Zealanders aspire to requires dramatic improvement in the opportunities and outcomes of those most disadvantaged.
While the Strategy is aimed at improving the wellbeing outcomes for all young New Zealanders under 25 years old, it also reflects the strong call for urgent and practical relief for those in greatest need.
There is a particular focus on reducing child poverty and on better support for children and young people with greater needs, including those of interest to Oranga Tamariki. This involves a widespread and dedicated response to solve the often complex and compounding issues experienced by these children, young people and their families and whānau.
The Strategy also has a strong focus on improving outcomes for tamariki and rangatahi Māori. It recognises tamariki and rangatahi Maori in the context of their whānau, hapū and iwi. The Strategy will help transform systems, policies and services to work better for Māori, supporting Māori to deliver solutions for Māori, and empowering local communities to make the changes that work best for them.
Current Programme of Action
The Strategy includes a current Programme of Action, which sets out the policies, initiatives, programmes and plans to help achieve the vision and outcomes.
The Current Programme of Action brings together more than 75 actions and 49 supporting actions led by 20 government agencies. These actions were backed by around $3.5 billion in funding to improve child wellbeing in Budget 2019 and build on the $5.5 billion Families Package in Budget 2018
The Government will deliver on and add to these actions over the next 1–5 years. The Programme of Action will be updated as new actions commence.
Government agencies have collective ownership of, and responsibility for, the implementation of the Strategy.
The legislation underpinning the Strategy ensures real public transparency and political accountability for reporting on child and youth wellbeing. There will be an annual report to Parliament on achievement of the outcomes, with the first report due in early 2021.
To assist with this annual reporting, we have established a set of indicators to help measure progress in achieving the outcomes in the Strategy.
The reporting will include specific information on outcomes for Māori children and young people, an analysis of outcomes by household income or socio-economic status, and by other variables where data is available. The annual report will also include information on evaluations of individual policies and actions in the Strategy.
The Child and Youth Wellbeing Strategy is an enduring, long-term project.
Many of the issues facing children, young people and their families are complex, stubborn and intergenerational, so we know change will take time.
The legislation requires that the Strategy be reviewed and updated at least every three years, to ensure it continues to address the issues and challenges facing New Zealand’s children and young people.
Growing collective action
The Strategy will align government efforts and activity. It also aims to support, encourage and mobilise action by others.
New Zealanders who helped develop the strategy said it must be bigger than government
Much of the support and care for children and young people is from people outside of government, and we need to find ways to empower and enable people and communities to drive the solutions that work for them.
Those working with children and young people and their families and whānau are invited to:
- align their planning and actions to the child and youth wellbeing framework
- seek out and incorporate children and young peoples’ voices and feedback into planning and delivery processes and governance arrangements where appropriate
- partner with other organisations that support children, young people, their families and whānau.
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