Media release: Finally an equal right for children with disabilities

Media release

7 April 2016

Finally an equal right for children with disabilities

IHC is welcoming the news that children with disability will finally get equal treatment when going into out of home care.

The Social Development Minister, Anne Tolley, announced today that a major state care reform and complete overhaul of Child, Youth and Family would take place. It is aiming to improve the long-term life outcomes for New Zealand’s most vulnerable population. Children with disabilities are over represented in New Zealand’s most vulnerable.

Trish Grant, IHC Director of Advocacy, says, “Children with disability who are living in poverty are over represented and are far more likely to be living in out of home care.”

IHC has been lobbying for years for the same care and protection for children with disabilities as others under the care or protection of the state.

“We are very pleased that the Government has recognised the need for change. The fact that children with a disability do not have the same safeguards in legislation, including legal representation, in terms of state intervention of care was something that we have been demanding to be addressed for years.”

“We are intrigued that the report includes a suggestion, which we’ll be watching closely, that special education services will be moved from the Ministry of Education and its functions placed under a new agency. While a proportion of children requiring state intervention have a disability, this recommendation would serve to label all children with a disability, regardless of their home situation, as disabled first, and children second.”

 

Ends

 

Media contact:

Gina Rogers

National Manager Communications

gina.rogers@ihc.org.nz 

021 388 208

 

About IHC New Zealand

IHC was founded in 1949 by a small group of parents who wanted equal treatment from the education and health systems for their children with intellectual disabilities. The IHC of today is still striving for these same rights and is committed to principles of advocating for the rights, welfare and inclusion of all people with an intellectual disability. We support people with an intellectual disability to lead satisfying lives and have a genuine place in the community.

We have more than 5500 staff working to support 7000 people in services that include residential care, supported living, vocational support, respite care, and New Zealand’s largest non-government social housing provider. We also lobby and advocate for the human rights of all people with an intellectual disability at both a national and an international level. We raise money and awareness of the issues facing people with intellectual disabilities through our charitable activities, including an extensive advocacy programme, a one-to-one volunteer programme and the country’s largest specialist intellectual disability library.