'Ask us for that help' - Ministry for Vulnerable Children moves to regain public trust and confidence

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The head the Ministry for Vulnerable Children says she hopes to regain the public's trust and confidence that had eroded under the previous organisation.

The circumstances are dire, but the decisions are no less easy.
Source: Seven Sharp

Seven Sharp was given exclusive access to a meeting of social workers discussing a family on their watch.

The issue under debate was whether to remove children from their parents.

Such access has been considered a bold move by an institution that for decades operated in secret.

Grainne Moss, has been chief executive of the Ministry for Vulnerable Children, Oranga Tamariki, for little over a year.

She said she thinks public trust and confidence had eroded under the previous organisation, Child Youth and Family, and opening the doors to Seven Sharp was in part about regaining this.

"I think it's really, really important that we have the public trust and confidence because if people trust us and they're confident that what we do helps get children great outcomes then they're going to call us and they're going to ask us for that help," Ms Moss said. 

"And we'll have the opportunity to make a difference."

She has introduced a string of new policies including giving debit cards to social workers so they can take children in their care to activities such as bowling without having to go back to the office for approval.

Ms Moss also needs to win the confidence of social workers burnt by the dysfunctional CYF, and she said the ministry has been actively recruiting because it doesn't have enough social workers.

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