KiwiSaver for kids in careSocial Development Minister Paula Bennett has announced measures to better support children as they move out of State care and into independence.
“While on my U.S Eisenhower fellowship, I was impressed with savings accounts set up for children in care and saw an opportunity with KiwiSaver.”
“New Zealand children in care generally don’t have family who can sign them up to Kiwisaver, but being enrolled will help them later in life and send a message that their future matters,” says Mrs Bennett.
But the most important message appears at the end of the press release:
The Children, Young Persons and Their Families Act will be amended to clarify the intended prominence of section 13(a) that children must be protected from harm, their rights upheld and their welfare promoted.
In his 2010 report into the serious abuse of a nine year old girl, Mel Smith noted section 5 of the CYPF Act (which says where possible the relationship to family should be maintained) often takes precedence over section 13.
“Mel Smith said this is possibly to the detriment of the safety, welfare and interests of the child, so I think we need to strengthen the core purpose of the Act which is to put the needs of the child first,” says Mrs Bennett.
Let me put it simply.
Child safety takes precedence over whanau-first.