CAP-logo-large-blueWe are hearing more and more about Children’s Teams (CT) in our regions as they grow in visibility around the country.

The first CT was launch in Rotorua in 2013, followed by Whangarei, Horowhenua/Otaki, Marlborough, Hamilton, and more recently Tairawhiti.

Plans are afoot for five more CTs (Eastern Bay of Plenty, Tairawhiti, Christchurch, Whanganui and Clendon/Manurewa/Papakura), and the vision is to have teams operating in regions throughout New Zealand.

So what are the social/economic themes emerging within the CTs? What are the differences and similarities? what are the learning for communities, NGOs, government agencies and Government?

The latest Children’s Action Plan Newsletter (October 2015) is out and it provides a glimpse into the themes emerging in one of its Teams (Hamilton) and you would be forgiven for thinking it reads like an excerpt from the NZCCSS Vulnerability Report series.

They’ve started supporting vulnerable children and their families and are finding consistent themes of financial pressure, overcrowded housing arrangements and family violence alongside health and education issues.

There is every possibility that regional CTs will provide strong data to support NZCCSS’ belief that high levels of inequality across income, wealth, housing, education and health acts as a constraint on human development.

Let’s ensure these learnings are made public so that as a community we can all debate how much inequality is too much, and set some necessary thresholds to ensure all New Zealanders have at the very least access to basic necessities through their own family/whanau rather than a reliance on CTs.