Social Sector Trials

The Minister for Social Development has announced changes to the Social Sector Trial Model.

What were the Social Sector Trials?

The Trials were a community-based approach aimed at improving the way government plans, funds and delivers social services. They involved transferring the control of resources including funding, decision making authority and accountability for results from government agencies to a Trial lead in the local community. The Trial lead is supported by an advisory group made up of local stakeholders, including local agency representatives.

The Trials began in six rural communities in March 2011 and expanded to operate in a total of 16 communities. The Trials were supported at a national, regional and local level by the Ministries of Education, Health, Justice, Social Development and the New Zealand Police.

What’s changing?

The Trials are now coming to a close. Five Trials exited on 30th June 2016.

Where successful, the SST will transition from a community-influenced model to a community-led model with a less narrow focus for the delivery of services.

The strengths of these trials include:

  • long standing provider (broad spectrum) support
  • a large and varied work programme, in many cases resulting in a better mix of programmes and services
  • their high visibility through hubs, staff, programmes and services- a distinct community presence
  • their positive impact on the community and their effectiveness in implementing a coordinated approach to social services across issues including offending, school attendance, education/employment and training
  • the coordination and working relationships that have been developed and are embedded and the considerable local commitment to continuing to work in this way.

This transition is ocurring over the period July to December 2016.

Two sites will exit earlier on 30 September 2016; Kaikohe and Gisborne will merge into the new Place- Based Initiatives which are beginning on 1 October 2016 in Te Tai Tokerau and Tairawhiti.

What happens next?

  • A six month transition phase in sites identified for transition is underway.

  • A Trial Lead has been retained to facilitate a process with their advisory group to determine what a long term model would like, or integration, or exit. Some programmes and services will continue while this process is going on and a small level of contract funding is provided to support this.

Trials which exited on 30 June 2016

Trials in five sites ended on 30 June 2016:

  • Whakatane, Rotorua, Waikato, South Taranaki and Wairarapa

A line by line review of the SST components, both coordination and programmes/services, was undertaken locally to support the exit process. Integration, transfer and exit of programme components occurred, through advisory groups, to support the transition of children, young people and other service users where possible

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