Mental Health and Wellbeing Needs Assessment published

Published: May 3, 2023

Oranga Tamariki | Ministry for Children has published an in-depth report about the mental health and wellbeing needs of children within the Oranga Tamariki system. The report comes as part of the Oranga Tamariki Action Plan, a cross agency effort to improve outcomes for tamariki and rangatahi with the greatest needs.

4 girls laughing in front of a colourful wall 2

The report - Mental health and wellbeing needs of children and young people involved with Oranga Tamariki - recognises that children and young people involved with Oranga Tamariki often have high mental health and wellbeing needs, with Māori, Pacific, disabled and rainbow children more likely to be represented in this population. It also identifies that these children face significant barriers to accessing support services.

The report was published alongside the Cross Agency Response, developed jointly by Manatū Hauora, Te Whatu Ora, and Oranga Tamariki. The response explains an implementation plan, drawing upon government initiatives currently underway, or planned, to respond to the issues raised in the report, and recognises the wellbeing needs of children and rangatahi should be met by a comprehensive system of supports and services.

The wellbeing report is the second of 9 needs assessments to be published and is a requirement of the Oranga Tamariki Action Plan.

How the Oranga Tamariki Action Plan will help

The Oranga Tamariki Action Plan is a joint commitment by the CEs of childrens’ agencies to prioritise the wellbeing of children in Aotearoa with the greatest needs. It provides a pathway forward to ensure wellbeing outcomes are met by focusing on the transformation needed across the children’s system to support better services for tamariki and rangatahi.

As part of the Action Plan, Oranga Tamariki is leading a series of needs assessments to determine areas for improvement in the health, education and housing sectors. The assessments will identify the gaps in current support systems and set a direction to improve these services for children, young people, their families, and the social workers and frontline kaimahi supporting them.