SSPA briefing to new Ministers

Social Service Providers Aotearoa (SSPA) national manager Brenda Pilott says the Labour-led Government presents some real opportunities for non-profit organisations contracted to work with vulnerable children, young people and families.

SSPA presented a briefing paper yesterday to Ministers Carmel Sepuloni, Tracey Martin and Peeni Henare, with strong recommendations on ways to strengthen social services.

“For the past decade, social service providers have struggled to cope with flat-lined funding in the face of rising costs and growing demand for services. There has been deep concern about the financial sustainability of many organisations and the ability across the sector to recruit and retain the best staff for this challenging field of work,” says Brenda Pilott.

“SSPA has recommended an immediate funding boost across the sector to provide relief to cash-strapped NGOs and allow time for proper consultation for a fair, sustainable funding model centred on quality services. It is heartening to see that this is in line with Labour’s policy commitment.”

SSPA is also calling for an immediate scrapping of the policy requiring social service providers to hand over personal details about their clients.

Other recommendations in the briefing paper include:

  • A workforce development plan to build on professional and organisational skills and qualifications.
  • Streamlining the contracting and reporting systems to reduce unnecessary costs in time and money for both government and service providers.
  • Three-contracts to replace the current year-long contracts so as to provide greater stability and better services.
  • Recognition that NGOs have an advocacy role independent of government.