Social Sector Trial in Kawerau extended

Date published: December 19, 2013 at 1:46 pm | Comments

The Social Sector Trial in Kawerau has been so successful that it’s been extended until at least June 2015, the government announced today.

Kawerau is one of 16 communities taking part in the Social Sector Trials – which aim to find new and better ways of delivering social services to New Zealanders.

Carl Crafar, Director of the Social Sector Trials, says that the Trials are showing that positive long-term change can be driven by people who are intrinsic to their community.

The Trials began in 2011 in six locations – including Kawerau – focusing initially on improving the lives of young people in their communities. Since then, the government has expanded the Trials to 10 more communities in a bid to explore the model in a range of localities and demographics.

The Trials involve consolidating relevant contracts and funding, which are managed by a locally based Trial Lead. The Lead agency ensures services and goals are joined up. In Kawerau, the Trial Lead is Kevan McConnell.

Since the Trial began in Kawerau, 65 young people who were essentially ‘off the radar’ have been reengaged in education or training. There has been a 30% reduction in truancy as well as an impressive increase in the closure of persistent truant (non-enrolled) cases (from 21% in 2010 to 92% in 2013). In 2012, there was a 25% reduction in youth court appearances.

A full-time local truancy officer, new health and social services, a truancy-free CBD and new case management approaches have contributed to these great statistics.

Mr Crafar says these results mean there was no doubt that the Trial should be extended.

“The Trial has made a huge difference for our young people in Kawerau since 2011. This extension will ensure momentum is maintained and we hope to see even better results in the next 18 months.”

“The extension of the Social Sector Trial in Kawerau is a vote of confidence in the ability of those who live, work and play here to make a difference, and we are committed to supporting them as they continue on this path,” says Mr Crafar.

Source: Ministry of Social Development