Being in Care

What to expect

When we talk about a child or young person ‘being in care’, it means we have a legal responsibility to keep the child or young person safe and secure, whether they're living with someone in their family or with other caregivers, and to ensure their needs are being met.

what to expect 2

When a child comes into care

When children and young people are in care and living away from home, they should expect to feel welcome, and to be well cared for.

Everyone looking after the child or young person is expected to do their best in caring for them.

A standard of care for children to do well and be well

There are now National Care Standards which set out the standard of care every child and young person needs to do well and be well.

The National Care Standards cover a range of things that are really important for tamariki and rangatahi in care, like supporting them to express their views, keeping them connected to their whānau, giving them opportunities to connect with their culture, and ensuring their education, health and recreation needs are met.

Doing what’s best for children and young people

Children and young people coming into care will have a plan put together which they will be involved in developing. They will also receive a child-friendly copy of the plan, along with information about their caregiver, about their rights and entitlements and how to make a complaint if they feel they’re not getting the level of care they are entitled to.

At a glance, people don’t see your talent. But if you stop and take the time to get to know someone, you’ll see everyone has potential

Care-experienced young person, Jacob

It’s important tamariki know why things are happening, and have a say in what happens next.

Their social worker will visit them regularly, answer any questions they have, work out any problems, be there for them, and make sure their views are taken into account.

Their social worker will also support them to know who they are and where they come from, stay close to people that are important to them, have positive experiences, stay healthy, keep learning, and have their belongings and special memories kept safe.  

Culture has always been part of my life. One day if I have kids, I want it to be a big part of their life, and to help them impact on the world.

Care-experienced young person, Trent

If tamariki or rangatahi have to move while they are in care or are leaving care they will be well supported through this time.

what to expect bullets 2



If you're a child or young person in care, VOYCE – Whakarongo Mai is an independent connection and advocacy organistion, separate from the Oranga Tamariki—Ministry for Children. We're here to listen and support you, and be on your side. Part of what we do is organise fun and engaging events for kids with care experience so you can connect with other care experienced kids.

Call us on 0800 486 923 or chat to us onlineus on 0800 486 923 or chat to us online