Care standards support tamariki and caregivers

Published: July 5, 2018

A tremendous step forward for tamariki and rangatahi in care, and a significant milestone for Oranga Tamariki. 

Care Standards support tamariki and caregivers - video

Care Standards support tamariki and caregivers - video


Care Standards - video transcript

Children speaking:

I should know lots about the people who are going to look after me before I meet them.

I want to know why I’m in care and what will happen next.

I want to be included in decisions made about me. 

Gráinne Moss - Oranga Tamariki CE:

We want all tamariki to be in loving whānau and communities, in safe and stable homes.

Children in care are no exception. To support this, new Care Standards have been launched – a first for New Zealand.

The Care Standards include a Statement of Rights which set out in child-friendly language what children and young people are entitled to expect under the regulations.  

The feedback we’ve had about the child-friendly nature of this work has been exceptional.

The standards also make it clear what support caregivers can expect.  And the standards will come into effect in July 2019. 

To create the standards, Oranga Tamariki worked with children and young people, iwi social services providers, social workers, caregivers and many others across a range of organisations.

Children and young people told us what they needed and what they expected, and we’ve put that into the standards.

Children speaking:

I want carers who respect my culture and know about it – and I want to be able to speak my language.

I should be able to be who I want to be.

I want to be able to stay with my sister and brother. Please keep us together.

Gráinne Moss - Oranga Tamariki CE:

The Care Standards are part of the wider changes underway to transform our care system.

We encourage you to join us on our journey.

End of transcript.

Changing expectations of care

National care standards regulations are now approved under the Oranga Tamariki Act 1989. The care standards are part of the wider changes we’re making to transform the care system and ensure every child and young person is in a safe, stable and loving home. They will come into effect on 1 July 2019.

 “The regulations will ensure every child and young person knows what to expect when they’re in the care or custody of Oranga Tamariki. They’ll also apply to organisations that have a child or young person in their care or custody under the Oranga Tamariki Act,” says Trish Langridge, Deputy Chief Executive Care Services.

The care standards set out the standard of care every child and young person in care needs to be well, and do well. They also set out the support our caregivers can expect to receive when they open their hearts and homes to our tamariki.

View the care standards

Listening to tamariki and rangatahi

In 2015, children and young people told the Expert Advisory Panel about their poor experiences and outcomes while they were in care. The Panel recommended that national care standards regulations be created. 

“The care standards were informed by conversations with care experienced tamariki and rangatahi, iwi social services, care providers, caregivers, and social workers,” says Trish. “They cover a range of things that are really important for tamariki, such as supporting them to express their views and contribute to their care experience, keeping them connected to their whānau and community, and valuing and respecting their whakapapa.”

In another first for New Zealand, the regulations include a child-friendly Statement of Rights. This will help make sure every child and young person in care understands what they are entitled to under the regulations.

Committed to caregiver support

Caregivers play a critical role in the lives of tamariki in care, and these standards also cover caregiver assessment, approval and support.

“Our caregivers have told us they need really good support systems and training in place from day one, and the care standards will help to ensure every caregiver has a robust support plan in place. We’ve also introduced other support mechanisms such as the nationwide 24/7 caregiver support line launched in May,” says Trish.

“The care standards show our genuine commitment to getting better outcomes for every child and young person in care, and we’ve worked really hard to get them across the line so quickly. This has been a really collaborative process and I’d like to thank everyone who took part in the consultation. Over the next 12 months, we’ll be working with our external partners, caregivers, and our own staff to prepare for the change."