Oranga Tamariki response to Ngā Ripo - Journeys of Change

We’re strengthening how we work with and support caregivers, tamariki and whānau.


The Ngā Ripo – Journeys of Change report was commissioned in late 2017 to evaluate six pilot programmes that provided training and development opportunities for caregiving whānau.

The pilots got underway not long after Oranga Tamariki was established and were one of the first things we did to improve learning opportunities for caregiving whānau. 

Since the report was commissioned, a significant amount of work has been done to respond to the eight recommendations made in the report, and to strengthen how we work with and support caregivers, tamariki and whānau.

Response to the report recommendations

Eight recommendations were made in the report to address areas for improvement.

These covered procurement processes, stakeholder relationships, referral and recruitment to the programme, accessibility and resourcing, incorporating te ao Māori and Kaupapa Māori approaches, and reviewing Oranga Tamariki systems to support equitable partnerships.

Read a summary of our response [PDF, 93 KB]

Caregiver learning

Caregivers have told us they need more learning opportunities that meet their specific needs, and the needs of their whānau. We’re responding with a range of opportunities that support the whole caregiving whānau, and align to the needs of the tamariki in their care.

We’re also equipping our social workers with the skills and knowledge to provide appropriate support for caregiving whānau, with a focus on Māori-centred practice.

Offering better learning opportunities is just one of a number of changes we’re making to ensure caregivers get the support they need. Other changes since 2017 include:

  • The introduction of a dedicated caregiver support service
  • Hiring more than 39 new caregiver social workers
  • Ensuring Caregiver Support Plans are in place for all caregivers
  • Making improvements to our free call Caregiver Support Line
  • Introduction of a free, confidential counselling service for caregivers

Support for caregivers, tamariki and whānau

Since 2017, we’ve strengthened how we work with and support caregivers, tamariki and whānau.

This includes the introduction of the National Care Standards which are designed to lift the quality of care for tamariki and ensure caregivers get the support they need.

  • As of 1 July 2020, almost every child in care has an All About Me Plan that sets out their needs and how they will be met. Engagement with whānau is critical in the development of these plans to ensure their views are heard and taken into account.
  • More than 93% of caregivers have a corresponding Caregiver Support Plan to help them meet the needs of tamariki in their care.

At the same time we established specialist Care teams with lower caseloads to support tamariki and their whānau, with a specific focus on meeting the needs of whānau Māori.

In 2018 A Safety of Children in Care unit was established to help us better understand what is happening for children in our care, and how we can prevent future harm.

And on 1 July 2019 the Independent Children’s Monitor was established to oversee the Oranga Tamariki system including the National Care Standards.

Published: October 12, 2020