New Zealand's child protection agency is eight to ten years behind in its thinking, according to the Social Development Minister.
Anne Tolley has announced an independent panel, led by Paula Rebstock, to implement a complete overhaul of Child, Youth and Family.
"For the sake of vulnerable children we must do better, and we need a very clear strategy that focuses on the needs of children, rather than the needs of the system," says Mrs Tolley.
"New Zealand used to be a world leader in the field of child protection, but I believe we are now eight to ten years behind in our thinking in some important areas, such as how we support children in state care."
She says while CYF has started modernising, it doesn't go far enough.
And she's promising it won't just be tinkering around the edges, saying small scale changes are unlikely to produce the results needed.
"We now have an opportunity to inject fresh thinking and external expertise, and examine where CYF sits in a changing landscape which includes the implementation of the Vulnerable Children's Act, Children's Teams and Whanau Ora.
"CYF needs to focus on its core business and put children and young people in CYF care at the centre of everything it does."
The panel will present a business case to Ms Tolley by July 30, with a detailed business case to follow by December.
Joining Ms Rebstock on the panel is Police Commissioner Mike Bush and three others.