Today the government releases its white paper for helping vulnerable children. Felix from NewsTalkZB complains on Twitter:
Social Development Minister was able to give embargoed i/vs to newspapers on white paper. Declined to do the same for us and others.
And Sue Bradford replied:
Yes, I can’t help but wonder what strategy is driving Bennett to so unwisely favour some media over others.
Yes – why indeed? Maybe there’s some clue hidden within the text of the Fairfax story:
Social Development Minister Paula Bennett puts her mouth where her heart is: that too many Kiwi kids are failed, but that we can do much better.
“The day I got offered the job of Minister of Social Development the first thing I said to the prime minister on the phone, at 9pm on a Sunday, was ‘does it include Child, Youth and Family?’
The former solo mum has a clear idea of what she wants and how to get it. She’ll listen, but once a plan is set in motion there’s no stopping the determined Waitakere MP.
Anyway . . .
The cornerstone of the Government’s plan is raising awareness of the signs of child abuse and neglect, and urging people to report it.
A Child Protect telephone line is planned for concerned neighbours, family, friends and professionals to ring when they suspect a child is being badly treated.
Comments made to the phone line, and information gathered by government and community organisations, would be entered into a Vulnerable Kids Information System to track those deemed at risk.
Which reminds me of my time back at IBM in the mid 1990s. It was a failing company – for a variety of reasons – and one of them was that management’s solutions to every conceivable problem was to ‘raise worker awareness’ by building a tracking database and putting it on the intranet.
Also, I’ll try and update the tracking poll today. Many more results like yesterday’s Roy Morgan and we’ll get to see Bennett’s plan to help solo mums out of benefit dependency by stoning them to death in soccer stadiums.