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Care system for New Zealand's at-risk children to be completely overhauled

As of tomorrow, Child, Youth and Family will be no more.

The PM said at the launch of the new Oranga Tamariki ministry, replacing CYFS, that there will be many challenges along the way. Source: 1 NEWS

The controversial agency will be completely reformed, and become the Ministry for Vulnerable Children; Oranga Tamariki.

Social Development Minister Anne Tolley has launched the new Ministry in Wellington, joined by Prime Minister Bill English and the new chief executive.

The Minister for Children says whereas CYFS was a reactionary agency, the new organisation will treat causes and support kids for more of their life. Source: 1 NEWS

The Prime Minister and Minister Tolley have just met with youth involved with the development of the new ministry, including some that have been through state care.

The new ministry puts children and young people's safety and wellbeing first - Anne Tolley

A powhiri by children was performed to welcome MPs and those involved in the ministry.

Minister Tolley says this is a complete overhaul of our care system and reiterated this is a new ministry, not just CYF under a new name.

"The new ministry puts children and young people's safety and wellbeing first," minister Tolley said.

The Government is set to announce a new 'child focused' department. Source: 1 NEWS

"This is the start of a four to five year major transformation... to build a more child-centred care system."

The government says in the first six months the Ministry will have more staff, in particular front line staff, as well as better training and support for caregivers.

For more on this story, watch 1 NEWS at 6pm. Source: 1 NEWS

Tolley said the Ministry will have more people with specialised skills, have a new way of working, a strong management team and will have a culture change.

A new advocacy agency will also be set up in Auckland that will contact children and young people in care directly. Regional hubs will be established throughout New Zealand over time.

Prime minister Bill English & Social Development Minister Anne Tolley meet with youths involved in the development of the new ministry. Source: 1 NEWS

The government has admitted CYF has been understaffed, and didn't have a focus on children.

New Zealand’s child abuse record isn't a good one. Around 30,000 cases are reported each year.

There have been several high profile deaths of children in CYF care, including Moko Rangitoheriri, Nia Glassie and James Whakaruru.

There have also been calls for an independent inquiry into child abuse for children in the care of the state.