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What is the Families Comission up to?

In December 2007 the Families Commission issued a Request For Proposal titled: “Research on contact, care and financial arrangements made by separated parents for their children”.

[14th March edit by JohnP – at the request of Paul Curry from the Families Commission this info is updated below:]

Families Commission Research into Child Support Arrangements:

The Families Commission wants to better understand the needs of separated parents and the difficulties they face.

We are therefore carrying out research into how separated parents manage the care and contact of their children.

The results will be used by the Families Commission to help form a view on what works, and what doesn’t work, for separated parents in New Zealand, and whether changes to the child support system are needed.

We are keen to have as broad a range of parental views on child support arrangements as possible. Our research will therefore involve men, women, and parents from a variety of ethnic backgrounds, situations and incomes; including separated parents who:

  • have made private child support arrangements;
  • are part of Inland Revenue’s child support system;
  • have shared care arrangements;
  • are the main care giver;
  • are not the main care-giver;
  • have re-partnered; and
  • parents who both receive and pay child support.

We will use standard research practices to randomly invite over 10,000 separated parents to participate in this research. Parents’ identities and circumstances will remain confidential.

We expect to complete our research in November 2008 and publish our work early 2009.

Contact details for the Families Commission:

Comment by Scrap continues…

14 March edit by Scrap to clarify.

Information extracted directly from the RFP is in Blockquote. Note the difference between the RFP quotes and Mr Curry’s PR spin. I stand by my comments and challenge Mr Curry to admit that no consultation took place with groups representing paying parents when creating this RFP.

“The key deliverable from this research will be an advocacy position for the Commission on the child support scheme. The research will inform the Inland Revenue Department’s policy development, and may also inform advice or advocacy for appropriate support services for separated parents, and generally raise issues that may require further exploration. The research will not be an evaluation of the current system.”

The anticipated timetable for completion of the RFP process follows in Section B. At this stage it is anticipated that this project will run for 6 months – from January to June 2008. Proposals should include a more detailed timeframe for completion of the research.

The target population for the focus groups fall into two groups — separated parents and service providers. It is anticipated that there will be two focus groups of people who provide professional services to separated parents — one of lawyers and the other of counsellors. There will be four focus groups with a target population of all separated parents.

This research is at the behest of worm-man Peter Dunne. Once again he has not lived up to his promise to keep us informed. Good thing we have eyes and ears in places he will never know!

Sadly this RFP has been written by individuals who have a pre determined agenda. This looks very much like advocacy research on behalf of “custodial parents”. It is also obvious that the author has little knowledge of the Child Support Scheme.

I’ll leave it to you to review the RFP document and make up your own mind. But ensure you bombard the Families Commission and demand your right as a stakeholder to be heard and all your concerns about the Child Tax system.