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Understanding New Zealand Child And Youth Wellbeing Strategy


Task: Write a report exploring New Zealand child and youth wellbeing strategy.


1 Executive Summary
The present child and youth wellbeing strategyis focussing on the positive move undertaken towards bringing about wellbeing amongst children and young people, these are the key points derived from the College submission:

  • The Third International Conference on Wellbeing and Public Policy aims at focussing on increasing wellbeing amongst the population in New Zealand. Their parameters of wellbeing include physical with metal wellbeing of all people in New Zealand.
  • In accordance with current policies, the Child and Youth Wellbeing Strategy 2019 has been developed which aims at improving the physical as well as mental wellbeing of children and young people in New Zealand. This proposed child and youth wellbeing strategyalong with relevant frameworks has brought about significant changes that have increased the wellbeing of children and young people in New Zealand.
  • The child and youth wellbeing strategyhas several factors and aspects through which it is making a positive impact and bringing about transformations in society. However, there are certain challenges that have been recognized in the Strategy framework that needs to be attended to such that the mental wellbeing of children can be enhanced.
  • Proposal for change in the child and youth wellbeing strategyaims to bring about change in the mental and emotional wellbeing of children and young people in New Zealand by way of school intervention. Schools in New Zealand can provide appropriate infrastructure so as to bring about a greater impact on the mental and emotional wellbeing of children.
  • The proposal for change and its feasibility has been evaluated which can enable to reduction mental health challenges faced by children and young people and can bring about a positive sense of wellbeing.

2. Statement Of The Focus
The School of Nursing, Midwifery, and Health Practice, Victoria University of Wellington welcomes the opportunity to provide feedback on New Zealand child and youth wellbeing strategy.
The School serves as an integral part of a social system for interaction for young people. As young people spend a lot of their time at schools, hence schools as institutions need to serve towards the mental and emotional well-being of young people. Young people have been estimated to spend almost half of their waking hours at school, therefore the school has a crucial role in impacting the quality of experience by way of its teachers and peers, which in turn affects mental and emotional well-being. The Third International Conference on Wellbeing and Public Policy, Wellington, (2018) publishes resources for assisting schools such that they are able to implement mental health promotional initiatives across school communities. The guidelines published by them conform to the policy and focuses on two main frameworks of Treasury’s Living Standards Framework along with robust indicators that are part of the Statistics New Zealand (2018) which in turn is a part of Indicators Aotearoa New Zealand project. New Zealand is considered one of the best places in the world for raising a family. However, this vision needs to be encompassed for children and young people. Children are often affected by poverty, inadequate housing, family violence, hence enhancing early years for children and young people is crucial for their mental and emotional wellbeing. The child and youth wellbeing strategyenables understanding the needs and wants of young children, such that the government can undertake supportive measures not only towards the enhancement of their mental and emotional wellbeing but also to prevent suicides from mental and emotional health issues in young children. The Strategy ensures collective efforts from the government, Maori organizations, iwi, businesses, non-governmental organizations, and also from the philanthropic sectors for achieving the highest levels of children's wellbeing. The Strategy has been effective in not only the attraction of governmental support but has widespread public support for the child and youth wellbeing strategydevelopment. There are several tangible parameters that have been ascertained for attaining complex issues and adaptation of changes needed in the system. This Strategy also aims at creating a sense of urgency for enabling practical relief to those in need. Most importantly, the Strategy's outcomes and priorities are shaped by the refinement of interests as well as the aspirations of young people.

The current statement of focus is the discussion of child and youth wellbeing strategythat has been published which needs a dedicated focus on the mental and emotional wellbeing of young children less than 25 years of age with a specific focus on suicide prevention (Clark et al, 2014). The purpose of this Service Proposal is to undertake a review of the policy such that it can be retained and applied appropriately. The focus of the submission includes relevant areas in which the child and youth wellbeing strategyhas adopted appropriate steps and is currently catering in a positive manner. Specially, examining specific approaches that the current child and youth wellbeing strategyis undertaking towards maintaining mental and emotional wellbeing and adoption of intervention techniques that can effectively diagnose a problem area and its prevention as well (Soutter et al, 2014). The main focus of the statement for the submission is in recognition of the challenges incomplete adoption of the child and youth wellbeing strategythat can prevent negative outcomes and enhance mental as well as emotional wellbeing of children enrolled across various schools in the country. Most importantly, it aims at the identification of intervention of mental and emotional framework that can be applied across schools in New Zealand for the enhancing benefits to children.

3. Statement Regarding The Submission And Its Formulation
The School of Nursing, Midwifery, and Health Practiceis a major part of Victoria’s health portfolio for more than 70 years. The body adopted the name of “Graduate School of Nursing and Midwifery” in the year 2001 while moving base to The Fieldhouse Centre, Wellington (Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand, 2020).In the year 2006, 'Health' was added to their name to reflect the increased demand for study programs designed for catering to New Zealand professionals in health. It was only in 2019, with the introduction of an undergraduate degree, a Bachelor of Midwifery, the current name as used today was adopted. The centre has gained considerable importance in providing courses that are directly relevant in contemporary healthcare disciplines. It is also well-known for undertaking a research-based approach in enhancing the wellbeing and health of people all over New Zealand. The professionals, academicians as well as practice experts make available advanced practices, policies, and scholarships in a professional and social approach to the world over audiences.

The body offers professional as well as personal development by way of a respectable, supportive, and flexible environment. It encourages rigorous diversity, creativity, openness, and balance through its innovative approaches, policies, and research. Moreover, it aims to attend those in vulnerable need for physical as well as mental healthcare. The staffs along with the students meet people's needs in a sensitive, compassionate, safe, and resourceful manner that enhances effectiveness and efficiency.

Child and Youth Wellbeing Review
School of Nursing, Midwifery, and Health Practice welcome the opportunity for reviewing and providing feedback on the New Zealand Child and Youth Wellbeing Strategy (The Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet, 2019).
The policy was formulated by reflecting upon the Third International Conference on Wellbeing and Public Policy and recognizing the necessary challenges in the New Zealand Child and Youth Wellbeing Strategy. The Third International Conference on Wellbeing and Public Policy is one of the most ambitious approaches to wellbeing adopted for people of New Zealand, developed by prominent policymakers. The scope of the approach used in this policy was to understand the current measures applied by policymakers such that contribution to a good life can be made. The policy's core focus was to enhance wellbeing for all its citizens in a successful manner hence attend to the challenges of representation, measurement, and wellbeing. The policy discussed the two main pillars of the conceptual framework of wellbeing which encompasses the Treasury's Living Standards Framework and indicators provided by Statistics New Zealand as a part of their Aotearoa New Zealand project. The Treasury's Living Standards Framework is a tool that allows enabling sustainable intergenerational wellbeing for being at the centre of the policy advice, long-term management of the country's stock assets, such as social, natural, human, and physical/financial, and government expenditure. The policy also receives input from Statistics New Zealand, which provides multiple data as being a source for measurement of wellbeing for the country. The policy framework has suitably recognized challenges that might be faced for increasing wellbeing for its people. This policy has enabled New Zealand to lead the way in dealing with the range of challenges that might arise in its wellbeing approach. Though there still remain certain complex conceptual and technical parameters to arriving at policy-relevant information.

Analysing the main framework and suggestions from the above policy framework and applying in the particular child and youth wellbeing strategycan enable diagnosing the relevant challenges that are faced at the school levels and in planning suitable intervention mechanisms for the same.

4. Evidence Regarding The Proposed Policy
The proposed child and youth wellbeing strategy has been developed with assistance from over 10,000 New Zealander, which includes 6,000 children as well as young people, who are enrolled across various schools. This Strategy is nationwide applicable and aims at improving the wellbeing of young people below the age of 25 years. The child and youth wellbeing strategy has been developed by the Department of the Prime Minister along with the Cabinet, along with collaboration with several agencies. Some of the evidence of working in the proposed policy with varied positive as well as its problematic aspects includes;

  • Development of Units: The child and youth wellbeing strategy assisted in the development of a Child Wellbeing Unit along with a Child Poverty Unit. These Units assisted in the Government’s approach towards reducing child poverty. This Strategy also withdrew thinking from public engagement, wellbeing models as well as best evidence from social sciences for continuing rendering wellbeing for the children of New Zealand.
  • Wellbeing models and frameworks: The child and youth wellbeing strategydevelops draft for enabling the government to focus its activities around the children's wellbeing model. The OrangaTamariki includes a child-centric analytical tool that enables analyzing the child's past history and the changes in their lives. The WhanauOra Outcomes Framework assists in highlighting the importance of participation in economic security, society, whanau cohesion, resilience, responsiveness, healthy lifestyles, and so on. The ManaMokupuna Model established by the Children's Commissioner for evaluating the quality of services rendered to children and young people. This model also bases its intervention approach on the past experience of children. The TeWhare Tapa Wha is a model of wellbeing applied in education, public health, and health context.The Living Standards Framework developed by the Treasury which focuses on multiple variables for future wellbeing, based on the OECD Better Life Index. The Pacific frameworks and models provide the foundation for a strength-based approach for the children's community. This in turn assists in developing child-centric approaches on the basis of their past experience for better wellbeing in the future. The basis of these frameworks is to align children and youth development. This approach is a broad-based one hence the parameter for wellbeing includes mental as well as emotional wellbeing of children. Such wellbeing is supported and backed by relevant models and evidence-based frameworks to support their applications.
  • Social sciences and research: The Strategy’s background is developed by taking reference from research evidence. Hence the child and youth wellbeing strategyis clearly backed-up by research from the importance of the early years, which is crucial for later development, adolescence (young children) time which plays a crucial role in development and transformation, poverty's impact on a child's development including stressors, discrimination, and racism. This implies that the findings of the Strategy along with their possible steps of application are highly effective as it is backed up by means of proper data and research.
  • The strategy developed in consultation with the people of New Zealand: The Strategy is highly effective as it has undertaken extensive public engagement for testing the draft outcomes and getting relevant inputs for the child and youth wellbeing strategy. Such engagement included a discussion by way of multiple meetings, focus groups, postcards, and adult survey methodologies such that people can share regarding their personal experiences and stories. These inputs received from the people of New Zealand formed essential input for ascertaining appropriate outcomes for the program. These findings allowed revealing status related to mental health and addiction concerns in young children, which have also been undertaken as an input for the child and youth wellbeing strategy. This helped in attaining relevant areas of mental health and wellbeing which are crucial for young children in New Zealand.
  • Recognizes opportunity: The child and youth wellbeing strategyframework has been effective in the recognition of new ways of working. The positive aspect of this Strategy is that it recognizes the best choices for the current and future generations for balancing social, economic, and environmental impacts of government decision making. Thus, the child and youth wellbeing strategyhas developed new approaches in the adaptation of ways of working with children and to provide higher wellbeing in their distinctive heritage and cultural approaches.
  • The child and youth wellbeing strategyhas been designed such that it is able to attain its vision of being directed from highest levels of the government. There is direct indulgence in the policy from the government, implying the Prime Minister, the Minister for Children as well as along with departments. With the Strategy providing framework for the central government policy development for recognising the importance of working together for aligning services and policy from the beginning. With Parliamentary support, it has been possible for the policy to get a sustained action for intervention for maintaining rights of children and young people. There is legislation that underpins this Strategy isthe Children’s Act 2014, which enables the policy to be refreshed once in every three year time with public consultation. This allows any potential changes to be accommodated in the policy and also address current along with issues of the future. Ministers prepare reports annually and submit it to the parliament regarding the progress that is attained in the Strategy’s six outcome framework. These outcomes can be measured to depict progress attained in way forward period. This child and youth wellbeing strategythus enables creation for a strong foundation along with unprecedented levels in political accountability towards young people and children’s wellbeing.
  • The benefit of this Strategy is the creation by way of economics and science values for supporting children in their first few years. This Strategy keeps adding to experiences by creation of higher skill levels which is critical for the future wellbeing and health. This will lead to positive early life experience, early development of adaptive skills and support from responsive adults for development of resilience. This has created public support and engagement for the policy. This will allow attainment of tangible results which allows real as well as tangible results from the Strategy. However, there will remain significant complex issues and changes which has to be adapted in the system, along with a sense of urgency for providing practical relief for those needs now. Thischild and youth wellbeing strategyhas shaped as well as refined by aspirations along with interests of children and young people, from adults who support them. Such actions adopted by the child and youth wellbeing strategy have allowed strong empowerment for the Maori community for delivery of better solutions which can work best for them.

Some of the challenges and problems include areas that the current Strategy misses out on. The child and youth wellbeing strategyeffectively recognizes from the nationally available data and international comparisons that while children in New Zealand at school are able to attain above-average competencies in education, however, there remains tremendous scope for improvising on a lot of aspects.

  • Attending to young children who are missing out: Data collected from the national policy implementation framework reveals that several young children face significant on-going hardships and challenges in their daily lives owing to mental and emotional challenges. Approximately a quarter of young children have been estimated to be growing up in poverty when house costing is taken into consideration (250,000 children nearly).

1. A greater number of children are seen exposed to sexual and family violence every year (approximately 300,000).
2. There is seen an increasing number of children who need the care of the State as a result of family violence, being neglected or abused, or byways of offending.
3. Most of these lifetime cases are seen to start by the age of 14 years, with an increasing need for mental as well as addiction-related health services.
4. Data reveals that young school children, who are accessing mental health and services, have more than doubled during the current times. These increasing mental illnesses have also led to the highest rates of suicide amongst young people enrolled at schools as against other countries.
5. A major concern in the child and youth wellbeing strategyhas been the absence of government investment in public services, policies as well as local initiatives for children as well as young people. Hence the key issue had been appropriated fragmented efforts at the policy implementation level and absence of coordination taking place vertically amongst the national and local government as well as horizontally amongst varied agencies by school age, and by different groups or areas of focus. Such fragmentation needs to be undertaken in governmental and non-governmental contractual services.
6. There is a lack of a unified message that aims at resolving various parts of the challenges faced by the school children. There is a lack of investment and non-sustained approaches lacking cultural knowledge. Alignment of government actions with the government action for attending transformative change such that the Strategy’s vision can be attained. These are prominent issues that are currently not been effectively attended to by the current health policy system. A study conducted by UNICEF revealed that though New Zealand is focussed on the promotion of good health and wellbeing amongst all ages, however, the considerable impact on children has not been taken into consideration. Most important concerns that policies in New Zealand are currently not attending include violence in the family and neglect, the prevalence of high incidence of poverty in children, disparities in accessing healthcare services as well as education in Maori as well as Pacific people facing poverty. Other issues include poor housing affordability and obesity prevalent amongst New Zealand school children. The child and youth wellbeing strategywill need to attend to these challenges for making the country the best place for school children.

The above analysis of evidence regarding the proposed policy reveals various scope for improvement and changes that needs to be adopted. The proposal for change mainly needs to include aspects that are not contained in the current report and needs to be attained on an immediate basis. Such wellbeing approaches can easily be adapted for school children as a part of children and youth wellbeing strategy. The proposal for changes in the current child and youth wellbeing strategywill include supporting, counselling, and mentoring students such that they can feel safe by way of physical as well as online approaches for dealing with suicide attempts, bullying, health promotion, and overall ensuring wellbeing in education.

  • The proposed child and youth wellbeing strategyneeds to incorporate changes within its framework such that it can assist children who are facing on-going hardships at schools that need to be recognized. This will enable adopting appropriate support strategy by emphasizing on the role of teachers and other staff at schools in the promotion of the wellbeing of the young people. As education plays a crucial role in the New Zealand Child and Youth Wellbeing Strategy, the six outcomes for wellbeing need to be adopted across all schools in New Zealand. The aspects of wellbeing which can be attended by such outcomes include providing access to quality education, providing housing and food to children, making accessible health and social services to children. These factors will assist in improving the mental wellbeing of children at schools. Hence the child and youth wellbeing strategyintervention procedure needs to include schools as one of their major stakeholders to bring about changes in the current state of art systems (Slade et al, 2017). Including schools as a part of the framework can allow direct access to data regarding mental challenges faced by school children and play a crucial role in bringing about specific intervention strategies.
  • The school needs to serve as institutions that recognize children who are exposed to bullying, sexual and family violence. Resources at the school can be directed for recognizing signs of bullying, sexual, and family violence, which in turn can provide counselling to children such that their mental challenges can be attended to. Most importantly working in partnership with teachers, families, communities, and whanau for supporting children's wellbeing can emerge as extremely effective. School can render education that is free from racism, bullying, and discrimination. Especially supporting children with disabilities or those who require special attention or learning support needs from within the school framework can assist in making a positive impact on the children of the community.
  • With the increasing number of children requiring support from family offenses, neglect, abuses, or offending, there has been an increasing number of children requiring mental health interventions. However, these children are not easily recognized or identified, with undertaking school level interventions for children and young people, it will become easier to diagnose these children and provide mental health intervention techniques. Teachers across schoolscan be provided with counselling techniques and procedures for children and young people, who are at greater risks from mental health challenges. Every learner needs to be provided with a healthy, safe, and supportive learning environment with proper acceptance and respect along with education. By valuing their identity, culture, and language for them and their family. This will assist the children and young people to cope with their conditions of mental and emotional challenges. These changes to the proposed child and youth wellbeing strategycan bring about a significant reduction in rates of suicide amongst them.
  • Due to the lack of governmental investment in varied public services, for maintaining emotional and mental wellbeing amongst children. The six-outcome strategy as undertaken through the varied schools across New Zealand will be reported to the Ministry of Education for ensuring compliance with the plan. It will also enable focussing on what is currently being done and what needs to be planned in the future by evaluating current actions undertaken. By way of regularly updating the Education sector regarding approaches of embedded wellbeing undertaken in the education systems.
  • A unified approach needs to be implemented which can bring about transformation. Only with full-fledged implementation of collective efforts, New Zealand can commit towards supporting and strengthening of wellbeing amongst its children and young people. The barriers present within schools as well as in supporting a collaborative framework need to be identified for greater intervention. It will provide a common direction as well as accountability from the government such that broader environmental, social, and economic policies can be implemented for driving change. This will enable undertaking locally-driven solutions by way of varied school participation with specific efforts.
  • The child and youth wellbeing strategyneeds to encompass prioritizing and addressing specific and significant inequities that are especially faced by Maori children and young people.Reporting is mandatory in gaining access to data of children and young people who have been attended to in this child and youth wellbeing strategy. Reports developed on monitoring of progress will enable instilling a formal and positive environment with informal networks being developed. Along with teacher participation, there will also be participation from parents and whanau, who are closest to the children and young people. This can provide greater change to be brought about along with a great deal of accountability amongst the stakeholders. Through monitoring of the outcome indicators such as children and young people are loved, feels safe and nurtured, they have what they need, they are healthy and happy, they are developing and learning, they are respected, accepted and connected and are empowered and involved, the proposal for change can be adopted in a better manner.

6. Argument Regarding The Feasibility Of Proposed Changes
The proposed changes as indicated above are feasible in terms of their capability to create a larger impact on society. The proposed changes have been evaluated keeping in mind to bring about a greater sense of emotional and mental wellbeing amongst school children in New Zealand. It is a cost-effective approach and can enable overcoming the challenges faced in the recent time period. The feasibility of proposed changes can also be accommodated by gaining governmental consent in participating in the proposed changed plan. The Ministry of Education will also be involved such that they can approve the proposed changes to be accommodated across schools. All stakeholder analysis along with their consent especially those of teachers will be undertaken such that they can participate in the suggested proposed changes along with their relevant feedback to bring about transformation to the child and youth wellbeing strategy.

7. What Can Be Concluded From The Above Discussion On Child And Youth Wellbeing Strategy?
The College hopes to bring about significant transformation, structural and social changes with applying evidence-based approaches in the policy. With the use of evidence-based approaches, the necessary political party will be able to address issues related to poverty, racial, gender discrimination, and inequity in attending to emotional and mental health challenges amongst school children in New Zealand. The transformational changes need courage and determination from the end of policymakers along with consultation with key stakeholders, such that the sustainability and feasibility approach for the policy can be adopted. Similarly, there is also needed to recognize the issues concerning fairness, gender equity, justice, human rights, child and infant impact which needs to be considered in these issues.

It remains essential to recognize the urgent needs of intervening in children and young people regarding the various mental and emotional challenges faced by them. It is essential to start at the very beginning of school education to prevent disparities in health and provide supporting health intervention approaches.

Clark, T. C., Lucassen, M. F., Bullen, P., Denny, S. J., Fleming, T. M., Robinson, E. M., &Rossen, F. V. (2014). The health and well-being of transgender high school students: results from the New Zealand adolescent health survey (Youth'12). Child and youth wellbeing strategyJournal of Adolescent Health, 55(1), 93-99.Doi: 10.1016/j.jadohealth.2013.11.008.

Slade, M., Oades, L., &Jarden, A. (Eds.).(2017). Wellbeing, recovery and mental health.Cambridge University Press.

Soutter, A. K., O'Steen, B., & Gilmore, A. (2014). The student well-being model: A conceptual framework for the development of student well-being indicators. International Journal of Adolescence and Youth, 19(4), 496-520.Doi: 10.1080/02673843.2012.754362.

The Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet.(2019). Child and Youth Wellbeing Strategy.Retrieved from [].

Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand. (2020). School of Nursing, Midwifery, and Health Practice. Retrieved from [,-midwifery,-and-health-practice-staff].


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