These regulatory frameworks together contribute to the modernisation of New Zealand's response to family violence and child abuse and neglect. The frameworks promote collaboration across government to better enable the safety and wellbeing of families, whanau, communities and children and young people in care. The appendix to this letter provides a brief overview of these changes.
The health sector has a key role to play in supporting this collaboration because of its reach into the lives of all New Zealanders, and our shared responsibility to promote and protect the health of all across the life course.
All health workers whether they work in government or non-government organisations, in hospitals or the community, or in primary, secondary or tertiary care will need to understand what the information sharing changes mean for them.
The practice changes for children and young people in care, in the youth justice system, and transitioning out of care, rely on Oranga Tamariki building strong partnerships across the health sector - especially with primary and community health practitioners and providers. Oranga Tamariki recognises that the changes will be incremental and slow, building capability over time.
This month the Ministry of Justice and Oranga Tamariki will publish two separate but aligned guidance documents to support the introduction of the new information sharing schemes. The health sector has contributed to the development of these guidance documents. The Ministry of Justice and Oranga Tamariki are in the process of developing training packages to support the safe sharing of information.
The Ministry of Health recognises the need to provide health sector specific guidance on information sharing and is working to provide this in advance of 1 July, recognising the changes will take time to bed in. More information and resources will be published on the Ministry of Health website in June.
Thank you for your support as we work together to introduce these important changes to foster the information flow and collaboration that will enable us to provide better outcomes for all children in Aotearoa I New Zealand.
Dr Ashley Bloomfield
Director-General of Health
Minisrty of Health