Brenda Pilott medium


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Contact Brenda Pilott
SSPA national manager 

Phone: 027 430 6016. 
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Call for front line social services to be fairly funded through Budget 2020 intensifies

Community leaders are calling on the Government to recognise the critical role NGO and iwi/Māori social services are playing in Aotearoa New Zealand's recovery through adequately funding them and giving them a voice in decision making.

Read the media release here

Report shows $630 million government funding shortfall for community social services

The government is underfunding social service providers delivering services that are essential to the wellbeing of New Zealand children, families, whānau and communities by an estimated $630 million a year, an independent study has found.

Read the media release here

Wellbeing budget delivers some good news - and some challenges

The annoucement of new funding for child and family services is welcome but there is still work to be done to address the widening pay gap for social workers in community organisations.

Read the media release here

Wellbeing budget needs to close the community social worker pay gap

Social workers employed by community organisations are hoping next week's wellbeing budget will help bridge the pay gap with their colleagues in Oranga Tamariki, the Ministry for Children.

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Essential child and family services miss out on financial relief

Social Service Providers Aotearoa (SSPA) has welcomed the Budget’s focus on helping our most vulnerable families through improved access to primary health services, the additional learning support programme, and the focus on social housing. The much-needed funding boost for family violence services is also to be welcomed. But the Budget bypasses essential and intensive community-based child and family services which are in urgent need of more funding.

Read the media release here

Missing piece in social worker registration bill

SSPA will recommend to the social services select committee that the Social Workers Registration Board be required to define the scope of practice of social work, and that note be taken of the need to compensate social service agencies for the compliance costs of registration. Click here for the SSPA submission

Read the media release here

New magazine fills information gap in social services

A new magazine focused on social services for children, young people and families is to be launched at parliament today, Thursday 8 March, by Hon Tracey Martin, the Minister for Children.

Kia Mauri Ora: Social Service Excellence in Aotearoa reflects the outstanding work carried out daily by social service professionals. It features real-life examples of innovative approaches and the value of research and evidence-based practice.

Read the media release here

Mandatory registration needs government support

Mandatory registration for social workers, announced by Minister Anne Tolley, is supported by Social Service Providers Aotearoa (SSPA) but there are practical matters that need to be addressed to make it viable for the not-for-profit sector.

Read the media release here

Government calls a halt to collection of individual client data

Brenda Pilott, the chair of ComVoices and national manager of Social Service Providers Aotearoa, congratulates the government on its decision to call a halt to the collection of individual client data until the concerns of not-for-profit service providers have been worked through. 

Read the media release here.

Systems and resources need to match ambitions

SSPA’s submission on the Children, Young Persons and Their Families (Oranga Tamariki) Legislation Bill is being presented to the select committee today by the organisation’s chair Shane Murdoch and national manager Brenda Pilott.

Social Service Providers Aotearoa represents some 200 non-government organisations working with vulnerable children, young people and families in communities throughout New Zealand.

Brenda Pilott says the Bill has many positive aspects but SSPA has identified a number of issues that need to be addressed if we are to achieve the very best for children in need of care and protection.“For example, we cannot support the information-sharing provisions in clause 38 of the Bill. They could lead to an overly complex system with unfettered demands for information that undermine professional duties of care and confidentiality.”

Brenda Pilott says SSPA shares the Children Commissioner’s concern that downgrading the place of whānau, hapū and iwi in decisions about their children is the wrong approach and risks repeating mistakes of the past.

“We want to see a stronger focus on supporting families so children need not be taken into care. And where a child is taken into care, the place of kin care is reinforced and supported.”

She says that while members of SSPA welcome the overall intent of the Bill, there is widespread concern that the significant change process will not be adequately resourced. “The Bill is ambitious in its intent and we should be ambitious for our children and young people. But our ambitions won’t be realised if they are not matched by systems and resources that fully support both the new ministry and the service providers. Previous changes have failed, in part because of inadequate resourcing. We must not make that mistake again,” Brenda Pilott says.

SSPA Media Release 21 March 2017

Reprieve for sexual violence services not good enough

Radio interview: The government will delay contracts requiring sexual violence NGOs to hand over their clients private details. But the organisation which represents the sector says that's not good enough. The Minister for Social Development, Anne Tolley, has now directed the ministry to delay the implementation of the contracts for groups working with sexual violence victims while it works out how to securely collect and store their clients' private data. Brenda Pilott is from ComVoices, a group which represents the NGO sector. Radio NZ Nine to Noon. 16 March 2017

Access to client personal information

Radio interview: Community NGOs say the government is forcing them to hand over private information about their clients in exchange for funding. Kathryn Ryan speaks to the chair of ComVoices, Brenda Pilott. Radio NZ Nine to Noon. 2 March 2017.

Privacy Commission investigating 

The Privacy Commissioner is investigating the Government's demand for client information in exchange for funds, after non-profit groups raised concerns. Brenda Pilott of ComVoices and NGOs comment. Dominion Post 2 March 2017