Transitions Support Service synthesis report

Published: November 16, 2021

This synthesis report presents an evaluation of the Transitions Support Service. The Transitions Support Service is for young people moving away from care into independent adulthood.


Oranga Tamariki has been running a Transitions Support Service (TSS) for young people moving away from the care system into independent adulthood since July 2019. The service is provided in partnership with providers and offers young people leaving care:

  • Ongoing contact up to the age of 21
  • The ability to remain living with, or return to live with, a caregiver, until they are 21
  • Advice and assistance until they are 25.

At 30 June 2021, there were 63 TSS partners and more than 120 transition workers. The TSS partners are a range of NGO and iwi organisations located throughout the country and so far 1,251 young people have been referred to a TSS partner (53% of the eligible cohort).

Key findings

This synthesis report has been informed by a range of studies, including preliminary findings from the second annual survey of rangatahi eligible for a transition worker, Just Sayin’ 2, which we expect to publish later in 2021.

The synthesis found that:

  • The new service had been successfully established
  • Pre-transition planning was not yet consistent, with variations in practice noted. It seems that transition planning works best in regions with a dedicated Oranga Tamariki transition resource.
  • The support offered by transition workers matched the needs of rangatahi. This support includes help with life skills and becoming independent, obtaining ID documents, goal setting and help with work, education and training.
  • Forty percent of rangatahi Maori said they were supported by a Maori TSS partner, and a further 23 percent said they would like to be. Learning from kaupapa Maori partners has been welcomed by all involved.
  • Although it is early days, there are promising indications that transition support has improved outcomes for young people leaving care. The vast majority of young people involved said they trusted their TSS worker, and that their TSS worker understood their needs.

Next steps

During year three the size of the eligible cohort will increase. Further development of the service will be informed by the voices of young people with care experience and from ongoing research.