Care and protection – how we're doing
We are committed to keeping children in Oranga Tamariki custody safe and promoting their wellbeing.
The graphs below indicate how we are performing at finding placements for children and young people that are most like home.
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.
The number of longer term out of home placements has decreased slightly this quarter. Family/whānau placements decreased but are still the majority of these placements. The number of 'other' placements has increased and accounts for 21 percent of out of home placements. Most 'other' placements are where Oranga Tamariki contract Child and Family Support Services to provide a placement for tamariki or rangatahi.
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:
- 2,201 were in a family/whānau placement
- 835 were in a non-family/whānau placement
- 798 were in an other 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.
Almost all (97 percent) of family/whānau placements had the same caregiver at the end of the quarter as they did at the start. There were decreases in both the number of children changing family/whānau caregivers (blue bar) and the number of children leaving family/whānau placements (green bar) in the last quarter.
Graph text description – family/whānau placement instability
This chart shows the stability of family/whānau placements. Of the tamariki in family/whānau placements, 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:
- 3% left their family/whānau placement
- 1% changed caregiver within their family/whānau placement
The proportion of family/whānau placement availability on entry to care increased its overall share to 30 percent. 'Other' placements are the most used placement type on entry to care at 53 percent. On average, about 45 percent of these 'other' placements last 3 months or less. The most common 'other' placement is 'regular payment,' which is used to support parents or whānau at the point of entry.
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:
- 74 were placed with family/whānau
- 44 were placed with non-family/whānau
- 131 went into other placement types
Quality of placement matching
The number of children living in out of home placements has continued to decrease in the latest quarter, however the proportion who have an ethnicity match has remained relatively stable. Of children living with a caregiver, 88 percent are living with family/whānau or with a caregiver of the same ethnicity.
Graph text description – ethnicity match with caregivers
This chart shows of the tamariki in a family/whānau or non-family/whānau placement, how many 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:
- 2,351 were placed with family/whānau
- 547 were placed with a caregiver of the same ethnicity as them
- 326 were placed with a caregiver who had a different ethnicity to them
Needs assessment completed
The total number of completed assessments has continued to decrease in line with the reduction in the number of children in care. However, the proportion of children that have a completed Gateway assessment has increased slightly to 79 percent. Improving the Gateway process is an on-going area of focus, which is reflected in the overall positive trend we see over time.
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:
- 4,106 have a completed gateway assessment
- 476 have a gateway assessment that is in progress
- 609 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.
Oranga Tamariki has high rates of recommending vision, dental and hearing referrals, and numbers have improved further this quarter with an average of 85 percent of those with identified needs being referred. 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:
- 83% of those who had a dental need identified were recommended for a referral
- 88% of those who had a hearing need identified were recommended for a referral
- 84% of those who had a vision need identified were recommended for a referral
Support to return and remain home
The June quarter saw entries into out of home care increase slightly by 3 percent. While there have been fluctuations in entries to out of home care over time, the use of these placements has generally been decreasing over the last two years. The number of exits from out of home care increased by 2 percent in the last quarter.
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:
- 315 entered an out of home placement
- 457 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: September 9, 2021