The bill that will help set up young foster kids for the future via the KiwiSaver scheme has passed its second reading.
Currently, a KiwiSaver account is the only financial instrument that no-one except the owner of the account itself can access. Now, the KiwiSaver (Foster Parent Opting in for Children in their Care) Amendment Bill aims to make it possible for any foster parent to open a KiwiSaver account for a foster child in their care. The goal is to allow them the same rights as any other child in New Zealand – to have their own KiwiSaver account.
According to Clutha-Southland MP Hamish Walker, Oranga Tamariki officials recommended some limitations to the bill after it went to the Social Services Select Committee. During the third reading, some changes on the bill will be introduced, he noted.
“Foster parents do an incredible job raising foster children and this bill gives them the opportunity to help set these children up for their futures,” Walker said. “I have heard many heart-breaking first-hand accounts from foster children who have saved up for several years only to have their money lost or stolen due to moving foster homes so often.
“Giving foster children the ability to have a KiwiSaver account would prevent this from happening,” he added.
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