1 August, 2012
Responses to child offending discussed
Associate Minister of Social Development Chester Borrows today spoke with practitioners, NGOs and academics at a forum to discuss ways to improve responses to child offending.
“New Zealand has one of the best systems in the world for responding to child offending, but we know there are areas where we need to do better. Those at the coalface of child offending know what works and what doesn’t and I’m glad to have the chance to hear directly from them what they need to make our system better,” says Mr Borrows.
The Child Offenders Symposium brings together key players from a range of agencies and community groups including Police, Ministry of Justice, Child, Youth and Family, Te Puni Kokiri, principals and other professionals. The symposium will cover a number of areas such as the early identification and responses to child offending, and how agencies and NGOs work together.
The output from the symposium will contribute to the Government’s response to the Social Services Committee’s report on the identification, rehabilitation and care and protection of child offenders.
Mr Borrows also discussed with the symposium the importance of aligning responses to child and youth offending.
“Too many child offenders go on to offend as youth, and then as adults. That’s why we have to make sure that this work supports other similar work, in particular the on-going review of the 2002 Youth Offending Strategy.
“The new Youth Crime Action Plan needs to build on the principles of the 2002 Strategy, and take advantage of what we’ve learned over the past ten years. It will stack up with cross-agency interventions, as well as current thinking and best practice in youth justice,” says Mr Borrows
The response to the select committee report on child offending is due in September this year. Development of the Youth Crime Action Plan will take place throughout 2012, with recommendations due in early 2013.