Care and protection – how we're doing

These tables show trends in reports of concern and data about children and young people in care, over the past two years.

The graphs below indicate how we are performing at finding placements for tamariki or children and rangatahi or young people.

Note: COVID-19 may have impacted the June, September and December 2020 quarters. This is due to the alert level restrictions first implemented at the end of March 2020.

Outcomes Framework 1

Loving Placements

Out of home placement type for longer term placements

The number of children in longer term out of home care continues to decline. Family or whānau placements remain the main placement type for tamarikir or children in longer term placements. In the latest quarter, family or whānau placements were 57% of all longer term out of home placements. 

Graph text description – out-of-home placement

This chart shows what type of caregiver tamariki in longer term out-of-home placements are placed with, at the end of each quarter, for the past two years.

In the latest quarter, of all out-of-home placements longer than three months:

  • 2,071 were in a family/whānau placement
  • 746 were in a non-family/whānau placement
  • 816 were in another type of placement

What is an out-of-home placement?

An out-of-home placement is needed when a child can't live in their family home. This includes:

Family/whānau placements: where a child has been brought into the custody of the Chief Executive, and has been supported to remain living with a member of their whānau as their caregiver.

Non-family/whānau placement: an Oranga Tamariki approved carer provides care for children who are not part of their own whānau. This is in contrast to other carers, who typically work with NGOs to provide care through contracted service arrangements.

Other placements: these can include residences, family/group homes, and contracted NGO services arrangements among others.

Stable Placements

Familywhanau placement instability

The majority of tamariki or children remained with the same family or whānau caregiver during the December 21 quarter. Change in caregivers has remained consistently low over the last two years. 

Graph text description – family/whānau placement instability

This chart shows the stability of family/whānau placements. Of the tamariki in family/whānau placements, this chart shows the proportion that left that placement or had a caregiver change during the quarter, over the past two years.

Out of all family/whānau placements in the latest quarter:

  • 2% left their family/whānau placement
  • 1% changed caregiver within their family/whānau placement
Outcomes Framework 2

Placement availability

Placement availability on entry to care

Family/whānau placements availability on entry to care dropped this quarter (25% compared with 34% in the September 21 quarter). This share went to non-family/whānau placements which increased to 23% of placements on entry to care. 

Graph text description – placement availability on entry to care

This chart shows the first placement type of tamariki who entered care during the quarter. This is shown by quarter for the past two years.

Of the tamariki that entered care in the latest quarter, the placement types they entered were:

  • 66 were placed with family/whānau
  • 60 were placed with non-family/whānau
  • 138 went into other placement types

Quality of placement matching

Ethnicity match with caregivers

Of children or tamariki living with a caregiver, 89% are living with family or whānau or with a caregiver of the same ethnicity. The proportion of children with a caregiver of the same ethnicity has remained stable over the past two years. 

Graph text description – ethnicity match with caregivers

This chart shows the proportion of tamariki in a family/whānau or non-family/whānau placement, who are placed with a caregiver from the same whānau or of the same ethnicity. This is shown by quarter over the past two years.

Of the tamariki in family/whānau or non-family/whānau placements in the latest quarter:

  • 2,192 were placed with family/whānau
  • 507 were placed with a caregiver of the same ethnicity as them
  • 294 were placed with a caregiver who had a different ethnicity to them.
Outcomes Framework 3

Needs assessment completed

Completion status of gateway assessment

The total number of assessments has continued to decrease in line with the reduction in the number of tamariki or children in care. However, the proportion of children who have a completed Gateway assessment has increased slowly over time to 80%.

Graph text description – completion of gateway assessment

This chart shows the number of tamariki in the custody of the Chief Executive who have a Gateway assessment in progress or completed. This is shown by quarter for the past two years.

Of the tamariki who were in care for the latest quarter:

  • 3,947 have a completed gateway assessment
  • 408 have a gateway assessment that is in progress
  • 585 have not been referred to gateway assessment

What is a gateway assessment?

The gateway assessment is a formal needs assessment, covering health, education, and other needs of the child.

Consent for a gateway assessment must be obtained from a child’s parent or guardian, or, depending on their age, from the young person themselves.

After the completion of an assessment, Oranga Tamariki records whether a recommendation has been made for a child to be referred to receive a relevant service for the identified need.

Service referrals

Referral to core health support

Oranga Tamariki has consistently high rates of recommending vision, dental and hearing referrals. An average of 86% of those with identified needs were referred this quarter. A decision to not recommend a referral could be associated with service gaps or the need already being met at the time of assessment.

Graph text description - referral to core health support

This chart shows whether a referral is recommended for tamariki in care following the identification of a need in their gateway needs assessment. This is shown by dental, vision and hearing needs by quarter over the past two years.

Of the tamariki who had a gateway assessment completed in the latest quarter:

  • 84% of those who had a dental need identified were recommended for a referral
  • 89% of those who had a hearing need identified were recommended for a referral
  • 85% of those who had a vision need identified were recommended for a referral
Outcomes Framework 4

Support to return and remain home

Entries and exits for out of home care

Both entries and exits to out of home care increased by 11% this quarter in comparison to the previous quarter. Entries and exits to out of home care have been decreasing since December 20 which is in line with the overall care population decline.

Graph text description – entries and exits for out-of-home care

This chart shows how many tamariki have either entered an out-of-home placement or exited an out-of-home placement (through leaving care or entering a return/remain placement) each quarter, over the past two years.

In the latest quarter:

  • 319 entered an out-of-home placement
  • 443 exited an out-of-home placement

What is a return/remain placement?

A child is in a return/remain placement when they are in the legal custody of the Oranga Tamariki Chief Executive but remain in the care of their immediate family.

These placements are used most commonly where we are attempting to support the reunification of a family, while still maintaining legal custody to ensure the child remains safe.

Published: June 3, 2022