Almost every child in care has an All About Me Plan

Published: August 13, 2020

More than 6,000 children and young people in care now have an All About Me Plan, just 12 months after the new National Care Standards came into effect on 1 July 2019.

Transcript

Child one: “I feel safe and close to my whānau and get to spend time with them.”

Child two:  “I know where I come from and who I am.”

Child three:  “My caregiver makes sure I am healthy and have the right diet and medication I need.”

Child four:  “My caregiver helps me with my homework to keep me on track at school.”

Child five:  “My caregiver takes me to sports practice and cheers me on from the side-line.”

All About Me Plans are unique for every child, and include information about how they’ll be supported and have their needs met while they are in care.

They cover a range of things that are really important for the child’s wellbeing, like health, education, connection to their whānau and culture, sports and recreation, and their hopes and dreams for the future.

Listening to the voices of children

“We talked to young people in care about what is important to them and what they needed, which helped us create the National Care Standards,” says Paula Attrill, senior manager for the National Care Standards.

“These explain what their rights are and what they’re entitled to when they are in care, along with information about how to speak up if their needs are not being met.”

Children and young people told us they want to understand why they’re in care and what’s going to happen next, which is why All About Me Plans are so important.  

“Under the National Care Standards all children and young people in care are entitled to An All About Me Plan, and get to have a say about what goes into the plan,” says Paula.

“For younger children we work with them to create a child-friendly version of the plan so they can understand what it all means for them.”

The difference a plan can make

An Oranga Tamariki social worker in Central Otago has been using All About Me Plans to give a voice to three boys in the area.

“The twins are very arty, so they’ve been filling out their plan with pictures,” she says.

“One has drawn a picture of himself using his inhaler to represent his asthma. When it came to his doctor’s details, he drew a picture of their doctor alongside a picture of himself blowing his nose.”

While working through the plans with the boys, their caregiver learned about their needs.

“With one of the boys, doing the plan brought up conversations about health, and the caregiver found out that they needed to book in a visit to the dentist.”

Support for caregivers

The National Care Standards also set out the support caregivers can expect to receive when they have a child or young person in their care.

Every caregiver is entitled to a Caregiver Support Plan, which is based on the child’s All About Me Plan.

“More than 3,250 Oranga Tamariki caregivers now have a Caregiver Support Plan in place – which is more than 90% of our caregivers,” says Paula.

“The caregiver also sees the child’s All About Me Plan, which means they have a really good understanding of the child’s needs and the things that are important to them.”

Find out more about what children and young people are entitled to under the National Care Standards