'It's time for a clean break - CYF is gone' says Anne Tolley

The Government has revealed more of its plans for a major overhaul of Child Youth and Family, with Anne Tolley today signalling changes to the way vulnerable Maori children are cared for.

Minister Anne Tollet is signalling changes to the way vulnerable Maori children receive care. Source: 1 NEWS

The Social Development Minister says it's time for a clean break with the past and CYF "is finished, is gone".

The department's restructure - the 14th since 1988 - includes a major change to the automatic placement of vulnerable Maori children within their wider whanau.

"The young people said they wanted to know who their family was, they wanted to in most cases retain the links with their family but not necessarily live with them where their lives are at risk and their long term outcomes are at risk," Ms Tolley told Q+A this morning.

But while 60 percent of children in care are Maori, commentators doubt the change will go down well.

"I think Maoridom might have some problems with that issue," political scientist Bryce Edwards told Q+A.

The minister also signalled a law change affecting client confidentiality is possible.

"There's been many many times when after following the death of a child, murder of a child, everyone's sat around in a room and it's emerged that a whole lot of people had different pieces of the puzzle and the different pieces of the information but nowhere was it all together."

But advocate Merepeka Raukawa-Tait says a Government department can't do it on its own and is backing calls for private agencies to get involved.

"I think we need to make sure we extend the range of providers who know their communities, who know these families and who know what we actually have to do make sure that we can make some positive changes," she says.