“In the wake of yet another damning report into Oranga Tamariki, there’s still nothing to suggest Children’s Minister Kelvin Davis is taking the many issues within his department seriously,” says ACT’s Children Spokesperson Karen Chhour.

“Today’s report from the Independent Children’s Monitor shows that nothing has changed since the organisation’s last report from 2020. Oranga Tamariki is continuing to fail the most vulnerable people in society.

“In many cases things have gotten worse. The amount of children registered with a GP or medical practice has dropped to only 53 per cent, only a handful of children have adequate access to mental health services, and only 26 per cent of the necessary caregiver reviews were completed on time.

“More children will slip through the cracks if something doesn’t change soon. The timeliness of investigating reports of concern gets worse every year. In 2019/20, 41 per cent of cases were investigated within 20 days, in the past year only 22 per cent have met that threshold.

“The department has followed Kelvin Davis’ lead in obfuscating information as well. Almost half of the information requests for the report were not completed due to not clearly recording information, an excuse often used by Davis when I question him in Parliament.

“In contrast to Oranga Tamariki and the Minister’s negligence, contracted NGO the Open Home Foundation was able to meet every request asked of it. If Oranga Tamariki can’t do their job then their funding should be allocated to NGOs who are capable of doing it.

“Where is Children’s Minister Kelvin Davis in all of this? His department has had controversy after controversy, and he is always missing in action. He needs to demand better from his department. Reviews and apologies count for nothing when he is nowhere to be seen when it comes to delivering improvements.

“Oranga Tamariki needs to be serving our most vulnerable children and giving them the best chance in life. There’s no more time for excuses and apologies, they need to start delivering.”

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