What do the National Care Standards mean for caregivers?

Published: April 29, 2019

The National Care Standards come into effect on 1 July 2019. From this date Oranga Tamariki will begin using these to guide our day to day work. So what does this mean for caregivers? 

What are the National Care Standards

The National Care Standards set out the standard of care every child and young person needs to do well and be well, and the support caregivers can expect to receive when they open their hearts and homes.

They cover a range of things that are really important for tamariki and rangatahi in care, like supporting them to express their views and develop a life plan, keeping them connected to their whānau, giving them opportunities to participate in their culture, and making sure their education, health and recreation needs are met.

They include a child-friendly Statement of Rights to ensure every child and young person in care understands what they’re entitled to and knows how to speak up or make a complaint.

Importantly, introducing the National Care Standards will mean bringing to life the principles of mana tamaiti, whakapapa and whanaungatanga in practice - for meaningful and sustainable improvements for tamariki Māori. 

Read the child-friendly statement of rights on the New Zealand Legislation website

Six parts to the National Care Standards

  • Part One: Needs assessments, plans, visits, and collection of information about children and young people

  • Part Two: Support to address child’s or young person’s needs

  • Part Three: Caregiver and care placement assessment and support

  • Part Four: Supporting children and young people to express their views and contribute to their care experience

  • Part Five: Supporting children and young people during care transitions

  • Part Six: Monitoring and reporting on compliance with these regulations

Part three - assessments plans and support for caregivers

Part Three of the National Care Standards explains that every caregiver is entitled to an assessment and support plan to help them meet the needs of tamariki and rangatahi in their care. The plan needs to cover things like:

  • Information about the child coming into their care
  • Access to training, resources and financial support
  • Keeping young people connected to their whānau and culture
  • Supporting children and young people to stay healthy and do well at school

Part Three also covers the caregiver approval processes.

What will this mean for caregivers?

Implementing the National Care Standards will be a process of continuous improvement over the next four to five years. As a caregiver you won't see a major change on 1 July '19 however over time as we work with the National Care Standards you will see a lift the quality of care for tamariki and rangatahi and the support provided to you. Our work in this space includes a range of changes like, updated policy and practice guidance and resources for tamariki and caregivers. As a caregiver, over time you will be supported by:

    An assessment of your needs as a caregiver, which will be carried out with you by your caregiver social worker.
  • A support plan that meets your needs, and helps you to meet the needs of the child or young person in your care. This plan will be maintained and reviewed regularly with you by your caregiver social worker.
  • Getting good information about the child or young person coming into your care so that you have a good understanding of the child’s or young person’s needs, the services and support available to you, and what you need to do to support the delivery of their plan.
  • Information about the important role you play in capturing and recording life events on behalf of the child or young person in your care, including school reports, certificates, photos, artwork, stories they have written, achievements and a record of contact with people that are important to them.
  • Information about the role you have in looking after the child’s personal belongings and making sure they have a safe way to store and transport their belongings and the things they treasure.
  • Access to information about support and services available in your region.
  • A clear process regarding allegations of abuse and neglect.        

I was given comprehensive information about the child or young person before they came into my care.

What will this mean for children and young people?

Children and young people coming into care will be given information about their caregiver, and have the opportunity to visit you, before they come to live with you.

This will help them understand a bit about your family, the way you do things (such as routines) and give them the chance to see where they will be living and what the neighbourhood is like. We'll work with you to put this information together with your caregiver social worker.

They’ll also receive information about their rights and entitlements under the National Care Standards, and how to make a complaint if they feel they’re not getting the level of care they are entitled to.

My caregiver understands what’s important to me and knows how to get me the help and support I need. This makes me feel safe and looked after