How we keep children safe

Every case is different and complex – but the safety, wellbeing and best interests of the child or young person is the first and most important consideration. 

Our process

We look to provide early support for families and opportunities for whānau to care safely for their children. We only consider seeking custody of a child in circumstances of serious harm and when no other option exists to keep the child safe.

Safe, stable and loving homes

It's then that we look to place a child with a member of their wider family, whānau, hapū, iwi, or family group or someone in the family network who is able to meet their needs. This includes providing a safe, stable and loving home until it is safe to reconnect the child with their family. 

Custody decisions

Decisions to seek custody are the most serious a social worker will ever make. They don't make these decisions alone but with professional supervision and using agreed tools and approaches.

Find out more about the steps we take in this section.

Published: November 4, 2019 · Updated: September 9, 2021