Annual report 2016 cover

Chief Executive's foreword

In the past 12 months, the Ministry of Social Development has started on a far-reaching transformation programme.By the time we produce our next Annual Report, the functions and services we currently deliver for vulnerable children and young people will be the responsibility of the new Ministry for Vulnerable Children, Oranga Tamariki.

Leading the transition to a new operating model for the care and support system, and to a new state for the Ministry of Social Development, while delivering on our strategic priorities, has led to challenges across the organisation.

We have met those challenges and have continued to support and help the more than one million New Zealanders with whom we work each year.

Our focus has remained on delivering better public services, and leading and contributing to government targets across the social sector. We continue to make positive headway in reducing welfare dependence by making additional investment in active case management and trialling new approaches. These include Project 300, which takes a new approach to supporting clients with health conditions and disabilities into sustainable employment.

In the past year we have seen a reduction in the number of physical assaults on children through targeting our funding to those with the highest needs, as part of our Community Investment Strategy and through the establishment of additional Children’s Teams.

The safety and security of our staff and clients remain of paramount importance. As well as implementing changes as part of our Security Response Programme, we have delivered comprehensive training to help all staff understand the Health and Safety at Work Act 2015. We have also trialled different options for our site layouts to inform how our sites may look in the future.

In the last 12 months our social housing role has continued to develop and grow, and we have assisted people with securing the right housing options for them.

We do not do our work in isolation. We are increasingly working alongside other social sector government agencies to deliver services to meet the full range of our clients’ needs. We work with our partners through collaborative initiatives such as the Children’s Teams and programmes addressing family violence and sexual violence.

We are also actively implementing a social investment approach, including making greater use of data and analytics to inform our decision-making and help us understand where our interventions will have the most impact.

The new Social Investment Unit will further support a cross-sector approach to using data and information and contribute to developing effective policy frameworks. It is up to all of us not only to use data to inform our
actions, but to have the wisdom to learn and adapt from what we do to improve our future interventions.

During the last 12 months our staff have continued to deliver a high standard of work, often in challenging circumstances, and I am enormously proud of them and the work they do.

It has been a busy and challenging year for the Ministry of Social Development. The coming year will be one of momentous change. We are well placed to do all that needs to be done. We have a clear direction and plan to transition from one Ministry into two and to keep supporting and serving all New Zealanders as we help them to help themselves become safe, strong and independent.

Brendan Boyle's signature

Brendan Boyle
Chief Executive