Posted: Wednesday, August 3, 2011 | 100 views
- IHC’s Children’s Call to Action election campaign
- Disabled children recognised in Green Paper on vulnerable children
- Who has a role to ensure vulnerable children thrive, belong, achieve? We all do
- IHC Start Strong success
- Every Child Counts – 1000 days to get it right for every child
- United Nations Disability Rights Convention – Government drops ball regarding children
- New model for supporting disabled people launched
- Law Commission follows IHC privacy recommendations
- Human Rights Commission tracks equality at work for disabled people
- Charities Commission and Mental Health Commission moved
- Auckland Disability Law update
- Police drop all charges against young man with Aspergers
- Australia adopts Productivity Commission’s revamp of disability support services
IHC’s Children’s Call to Action election campaign
IHC’s advocacy for the election campaign this year focuses on children.
Our Children’s Call to Action will include:
- Early support for disabled children and their families
- Inclusive education
- Transition to work and adulthood
- New models for young people to be supported at home and during the day
On 8 September IHC, the Electoral Commission and Unreal Films will be launching “Get Ready and Vote” a new resource to encourage people with intellectual disability to participate in the election.
Hot Issues will bring you the latest on our campaign before and after the election on 26 November.
Disabled children recognised in Green Paper on vulnerable children
Around 15 percent of children (163,000) can be considered particularly vulnerable, says the paper. That is, without significant support and intervention, they will not thrive, belong or achieve. Children are especially vulnerable when they are very young and when they enter adolescence. Individual factors that can contribute to vulnerability are growing up in poverty, and having a disability or a significant health problem.
Who has a role to ensure vulnerable children thrive, belong achieve? We all do
- Parents, families and whānau play the most crucial role in raising children
- Communities, iwi and hapū are also crucial to support parents, families and whānau to succeed. Families and whānau are least at risk of poor outcomes when they are connected and live in strong communities
- Local government, business, philanthropy and non-government organisations all have a role to protect vulnerable children and prevent more children becoming vulnerable
- Government has a key role to play – demonstrating leadership, making policy decisions and delivering services to support vulnerable children. This includes delivering effective education and health services, and working with parents, families and whānau, and communities to make a difference for vulnerable children
IHC Start Strong success
Families, community organisations, government agencies and others participating heard how:
- local agencies are working together and demonstrating that the Start Strong action priorities are possible when people are committed to doing better
- by working in partnership the numbers of families in crisis and the numbers of disabled children going into care can be reduced – nationally 20 percent of children in care are disabled, over 30 percent in some areas
- parents of disabled children are the best support families new to the disability journey can have – Parent to Parent supports each new family individually, getting them the information and the skills they need
- professionals need to have a stronger commitment to evidence-based practice, utilising interventions which make a noticeable and measurable difference. The importance of working in partnership with families was stressed by keynote speaker Dr Kathleen Liberty
Every Child Counts – 1000 days to get it right for every child
1000 days to get it right for every child – the effectiveness of public investment in New Zealand children has six key messages:
- The first 1000 days of a child’s life are critical in determining whether or not that child will be a healthy, mature and productive adult
- The economic cost to the New Zealand economy of poor child outcomes is three percent of GDP – approximately $6 billion. This includes increased health, welfare, remedial education, crime and justice expenditure and lower productivity
- New Zealand public investment in children is both low and relatively ineffective by international standards
- The Netherlands provides an alternative model of comparatively modest, but highly effective public investment in children
- There is international unanimity that deprivation is a primary risk factor in early childhood resulting in poor outcomes in adulthood. Deprivation includes inadequate family income, poor quality housing, inability to access health services, educational opportunities and reduced social engagement
- Any solution requires long term action plans not subject to short term electoral cycles and adversarial politics
United Nations Disability Rights Convention – Government drops ball regarding children
With attention to the plight of vulnerable children a major focus for government, professional and advocacy groups – and internationally – how could the needs of disabled children not be highlighted within the report?
New model for supporting disabled people launched
Nearly three years after the disability inquiry recommendations, Health Minister Tony Ryall says local area coordination is being set up to help disabled people have more control over what support they get. Instead of telling disabled people what support they’ll get, the new approach offers people choice and increased flexibility. The control will sit with the person, not the system.
The first story the Minister tells is of a woman with intellectual disability who moved from a group home into a flat to bring up her young daughter herself. The local area coordinators also helped her get a part-time job.
The government is working to extend this support and choice to people supported in residential services. This could allow people with relatively high needs to choose to live in a home they rent or own.
Law Commission follows IHC privacy recommendations
The Law Commission quotes IHC’s submission (page 311):
What needs to be recognised for this review is the ability for people with intellectual
and other disabilities to choose support persons, including social interpreters, to assist them directly to exercise their rights under the Privacy Act. They also need to be able to choose who acts for them. In addition, agencies have responsibilities to provide for the support needed to exercise their rights.
It also notes that IHC questions the appropriateness of including disability in the Health Information Privacy Code. We said in our submission that disabled people prefer that health services and disability services are recognised as separate, with different contexts and imperatives.
Human Rights Commission tracks equality at work for disabled people
IHC is delighted that the Human Rights Commission is tracking equality at work for disabled people. The report highlights the urgent need to improve the participation of disabled people in the paid workforce and their accessibility to decent work.
Tracking equality at work for disabled people includes:
- The issues faced by disabled people in the labour market
- Promoting Article 27 of the UN Disability Rights Convention regarding work and employment
- International obligations and New Zealand legislation that impact on disabled people at work
- Equality at Work Indicators with disability measures to track progress
- Details of labour market participation and what this means for disabled people
Disability is the most frequent ground of enquiry and complaint to the Commission in
the employment area. Disabled people have at least twice the level of unemployment as their non-disabled peers. Read this comprehensive report about why this is and what must be done about it.
The Human Rights Commission identifies young people entering employment as a critical issue. It urgently recommends a national youth-to-work strategy that includes a plan for every young New Zealander, with cross-party support and secure long-term funding.
Charities Commission and Mental Health Commission moved
Auckland Disability Law update
Police drop all charges against young man with Aspergers
Australia adopts Productivity Commission’s revamp of disability support services
The Australian government says it supports the Productivity Commission vision for reform of disability services that provides people with the support they need over the course of their lifetime. It has adopted a key recommendation of a National Disability Insurance Scheme, among others. The issues are familiar to us in New Zealand – there may be solutions to adopt here.
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