How many foster children now have a “Home for Life”?
Since I launched the Home for Life programme in October last year, a total of 329 children have found permanent, stable homes with New Zealand families. In fact, permanency is the best thing we can give those children.
Every caregiver who offers a child a home for life is entitled to reasonable legal costs; a $2,500 upfront payment, paid after the Home for Life orders are granted; a baby starter pack for children under 2; and access to a national foster care training programme. They get to determine how much a social worker is involved in their lives and in their family, and I think that has been really well received.
What responsibility does the Government take to ensure that kin care, families, and whānau with a direct genealogical link to the child are promoted as the first option in any care arrangements concerning children?
Child, Youth and Family takes the responsibility to try to find suitable family and whānau first and utmost as its main priority for these children. As at the end of June, 75 percent of those homes were with family or whānau—that is, 248 children since October. For Māori that figure is even higher, with 85 percent going into permanent placements with whānau.