From today Oranga Tamariki takes on a host of new responsibilities and requirements for an ever increasing number of children. Young people can now stay in state care till age 21 with transition support and advice available up to age 25. Oranga Tamariki will also take on responsibility for 17 year old offenders who'll be included in the youth justice system.
The Ministry is also now required to partner with iwi more closely and to report specifically about the welfare of Maori children; new legally mandated National Care Standards come into force, and Oranga Tamariki also begins to roll out a new Intensive Intervention Service to work with high risk children and whanau.
This comes as four separate inquiries are underway into Oranga Tamariki's process for taking children in to care and the agency deals with an onslaught of criticism over its attempt to remove a three day old baby from a teenage mother at Hawkes Bay Hospital.
Kathryn speaks with Tracey Martin, Minister for Children.