COVID-19

We continue to work with tamariki, whānau, caregivers and victims in all alert levels following safe health and hygiene practices, responding quickly where COVID-19 is suspected.

 

Report a concern

Our service

We are an essential service and will be available, accessible and connected to the community at all COVID-19 alert levels.

We continue to work in a way that keeps everyone safe and meets Ministry of Health guidelines. 

Report a concern

COVID-19 restrictions mean that some children will have less contact with trusted adults than usual, particularly if their schools or childcare provider closes. It's important family and others in the community contact us if you are worried about a child or young person.

If something doesn’t feel right, call us on freephone: 0508 326 459 or email contact@ot.govt.nz

Preparing for more families needing our support

Our teams are talking to Police child protection teams daily to check in on at-risk families. And we’re working closely with NGO partners in response to reports of family harm and reports of concern.

Social work

Alert Level 3

The goal of restrictions under Alert Level 3 is to eliminate COVID-19 by limiting the opportunities for transmission and to detect, trace and respond to cases which occur in our communities.

To help stop the spread, face to face engagement should not occur at Alert Level 3. We will continue to support tamariki, whānau and caregivers remotely via phone, email and video, and will be able to provide in person support in limited situations.

We will:

  • support tamariki, whānau and caregivers to maintain safe, stable bubbles
  • maintain robust health and hygiene 
  • practice physical distancing and wear face masks
  • keep contact tracing records. 

Alert Level 2 

At Alert Level 2 we will maintain our face to face engagement where it is safe and appropriate. This will include the use of face masks where we can’t maintain appropriate physical distancing. However, we recognise that it may be better to use remote practices in some situations.

Can undertake whānaudecision making processes such as FGCs, family meetings and hui a whānauin person provided health and h as ust do’s are closely observed​ and we have considered whānaupreferences

We will undertake whānau decision making processes such as Family Group Conferences, family meetings and hui a whānau in person, provided health and hygiene (including physical distancing if appropriate) is closely observed​ and it is the preference of the whānau. 

We remain sensitive to the ongoing social, economic, cultural and physical impact COVID-19 has on the mental wellbeing of tamariki, whānau and caregivers. 

Modified ways of working

We'll review and make changes to plans as alert levels change, addressing things that have the most impact on tamariki, whānau and caregivers.

Testing and quarantine

Positive COVID-19 tests

If a child or young person we work with tests positive for COVID-19, the priority will be that they remain safely in the care of their parents or caregivers.

Each positive COVID-19 test result will be considered on a case-by-case basis with the local Medical Officer of Health so there is an appropriate quarantine solution that minimises any negative impact, while meeting quarantine requirements.  

Contact tracing

All alert levels

Contact tracing is one of the most important tools we have to ensure we don’t lose the gains we made in lockdown.

We've been asked by the Ministry of Health to assist with this task which allows health officials to quickly track down and test people who may have been exposed.  

Oranga Tamariki will continue to record all of the people that our children and young people, caregivers and staff have close contact with. Close contact is defined as face-to-face contact with someone in any setting within two metres, for 15 minutes or more.

We’ve asked all our staff, sites and residences to keep these records.

What this means for Oranga Tamariki caregivers

We’re asking our caregivers to still keep a daily record of close contacts for all members of their household. This can be done using the COVID Tracer app or manually. 

Caregivers with questions or concerns about this process should contact their caregiver social worker, or call us on 0508 227 377

What this means for our partners

We’re asking our partners to record all of the people that their staff, caregivers, and children and young people in their care have close contact with.

This means we’re asking them to follow the same processes as we are, for their staff, caregivers, and sites/offices and residences.

Partners with questions should contact their Partnering for Outcomes relationship manager.

Caregivers

Our caregivers are a top priority and we’re giving them extra support.

We’ve asked caregivers to contact us immediately if someone in their household falls ill with cold or flu like symptoms, so that we can support them as soon as possible.

We’re also advising them to contact their doctor or Healthline to arrange a COVID-19 test.

Partners and practitioners

As the Government's funders of social services, the Ministry of Social Development (MSD), Oranga Tamariki, the Department of Corrections, the Accident Compensation Corporation (ACC), Te Puni Kōkiri and the Ministries of Justice, Health and Education are continuing to work closely together to develop a shared approach during the different alert levels.

Data snapshot

Operational reporting in Levels 4 to 1

To have oversight of our operating system during the pandemic we have established weekly operational reporting of key statistics. These include reports of concern, entries into care and referrals to youth justice family group conferences.

COVID-19 Oranga Tamariki Statistics June 2020 provides a snapshot of operations since early March 2020 (three weeks before the start of Alert Level 4) until the most recent available time period for each measure (prior to 9 June 2020). It also includes comparison to the same time last year.

This data is helping us target our efforts and plan our response and recovery. 

Published: August 25, 2020