Gráinne's update - COVID-19

Published: April 3, 2020

Chief Exective Gráinne Moss talks about how Oranga Tamariki is responding after New Zealand moved into COVID-19 Alert Level 4, and how caregivers and partners are being supported to care for tamariki, rangatahi and their whānau.

Working together, working differently

Kia ora tatou koutou

We are in unprecedented times. All our lives are now very different to what they were just over a week ago.

Oranga Tamariki provides an essential service, and we’ve been working hard to ensure the support we work with others to give tamariki, whānau, and caregivers continues to be delivered over this critical period.

This has meant working differently - taking extra precautions to keep ourselves and others safe, and many working from home.

We know there are children and young people who need us to keep doing what we do, to keep them safe from harm.

I’m heartened and inspired by the many incredible stories I’m hearing of how our teams and partners are supporting their communities and each other. This week I received a picture that had been drawn by a child in care, with their social worker, that had been done remotely – it was heart-warming.

As we keep hearing, it’s so important to be kind, and I’m proud we’re leading the way.

grainne working from home
Gráinne working from home

Supporting caregivers

With the closure of schools and the disruption being caused for families, this will be a particularly challenging time for many of our caregivers.

We’re working with them to develop short-term COVID-19 Caregiver Support Plans to help them get through, prioritising those most in need of support.

Our caregivers also rely on us to be a trusted source of information, and we’ve been keeping in regular contact with them. We’ve been letting them know how and where they can access the information and support they need, and providing updates, advice and resources.

Working with partners

We’re also working closely with our partners and providers as they continue their essential services. It’s great to see the innovation our providers are showing as they support those who need it, while keeping themselves safe.

It’s through partnerships like this we can unite against COVID-19 and help tamariki and their whānau, and each other, get through.

Within our Youth Justice and Care and Protection residences, we’re doing everything we can to protect our staff and the children and young people we care for. This includes putting processes in place for screening, isolation and cleaning.

We have a vision for the wellbeing of all children in Aotearoa, and we’ve been sharing resources and information to keep tamariki across the country safe, informed and entertained.

So far this has been done through posts on our social media channels – which reached over 250,000 people last week.

This is only a fraction of the work happening across Oranga Tamariki and, as the environment we’re operating in continues to change rapidly, we’re having to adapt daily as we navigate this ‘new normal.’

While it’s a challenging time, we know the work Oranga Tamariki does to keep tamariki and whānau safe and supported is more important than ever.

We’ll keep working hard to ensure this mahi continues uninterrupted for those who need us.

Thank you to all of you who have being doing this with us.

Take care and stay safe.

Ngā mihi nui ki a koutou katoa

Gráinne Moss
Oranga Tamariki Chief Executive