Ministry for Vulnerable Children boss Grainne Moss promises big changes
The new chief executive of the new Ministry for Vulnerable Children says the overhaul of Child, Youth and Family is more than just a name change.
Grainne Moss has taken up leadership of the new ministry, which will replace Child Youth and Family in April 2017, and says she's "absolutely" prepared to run a hardline organisation.
Child Youth and Family has been restructured at least 14 times since 1998, and Ms Moss told Paul Henry the big difference this time is it's not just an organisational restructure.
"It is about the voice of the young person being central...and I think in the past it has sometimes got a little bit lost.
"They've really listened to what will make a difference to the system, what will make a difference to the community."
She says she was reassured by the commitment from Parliament and from the public to improving children's safety and wellbeing in New Zealand.
"If the community can step up in conjunction with the politicians, in conjunction with legislative changes then I do think there is real hope for the future.
"I am absolutely prepared to run an organisation where we empower our social workers to do the best work that they can do for the benefit of children.
"A lot of these issues are complex and those social workers do have to make very tough calls, and I'm there to support them when the tough calls are the right calls for the kids."
New Zealand has a poor record of child abuse, with one child killed every five weeks. Around 90 percent of those deaths are carried out by someone the child knew, the Child Matters website says.