Vulnerable children in state care could remain there until the age of 25 under radical changes unveiled today in an overhaul of Child, Youth and Family Services.
Care will continue until 18 with further support up to the age of 25 if necessary and a one-stop shop will be created to deal with children needing care.
Social Development Minister Anne Tolley says it's important to have one point of accountability.
The new single agency will buy services from other government departments, non-government organisations or the private sector, leading Green Party co-leader Metiria Turei to express concern that it might be the next step towards privatising critical social services for very vulnerable children and their families.
And Labour's Jacinda Ardern says the success or failure of the new entity will come down to whether it's properly resourced.
Many vulnerable children end up in the justice system and by the age of seven most have already had an average of seven to eight care placements.
Since 1988 there have been 14 restructures of the agency and a damning interim report released in September last year said CYF was failing to provide for vulnerable children.
Ms Tolley says the restructure will help address that but will take five years to put in place.