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Accreditation bias limits Māori caregivers

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A shortage of Māori able to train and certify caregivers may be hampering efforts to put children into the care of wider whanau rather than with strangers.

Helen Leahy, the chief executive of Te Pūtahitanga o Te Waipounamu, says the South island whānau ora commissioning agency is working with its nine iwi on what they can do to support children in care.

It's encouraging organisations to step up and become a Section 396 provider which can accredit whānau members to become caregivers.

"Because one of the issues why whānau haven't come to Oranga Tamariki or Child Youth and Family before that to be a caregiver is because they haven't enjoyed the caregiving training. They feel they are being vetted and monitored and scrutinised rather than supported and nurtured into being an effective caregiver," Ms Leahy says.

There is no Māori Section 396 accreditor in Te Waipounamu.

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