Caregiving support and learning
We will give you learning opportunities and practical support, along with the trust and confidence you need to focus on providing quality care, aroha, and a sense of belonging to the tamariki and rangatahi in your care.
You are one of the team and we’re here to help you. Our team is made up of all the people who surround a child in order to keep them safe and well, and all the significant people in the child’s life.
Your team includes:
- your caregiver social worker – They’re available to give you support and help you understand caregiving. They will be in touch regularly and together you will develop and update your Caregiver Support Plan. Talk to them about money, learning opportunities, or any questions you have about caregiving.
- the child's social worker – Every child in care has their own social worker, and you can expect to have a lot of contact with them. They will work with you and the child to prepare them for coming into your care, and help to make sure the child’s goals and needs are being met. They will share the child’s All About Me Plan with you. Talk to them about anything to do with the child's care.
- other professionals – They might be teachers, doctors and counsellors, youth workers, or people working for NGOs or in the community.
- the child’s family or whānau – Supporting the child or young person to stay connected with these people is a big part of caregiving.
- your own family and whānau – Your own family and whānau play a huge role in making the child or young person feel welcome and loved, so it’s important they’re part of making decisions about providing care.
Caregiver Support Line
Having someone to talk to about the challenges you’re facing as a caregiver can make all the difference. That’s why we have a free Caregiver Support Line - 0508 CARERS (0508 227 377).
When calling, select option 1 if you want to enquire about becoming a caregiver, and option 2 if you’re a current caregiver with Oranga Tamariki requiring support.
When you call 0508 CARERS you’ll be put through to your regular caregiver social worker. If they’re not available, another member of the Caregiver Recruitment and Support team in your region will respond and make sure you get the support you need.
You can also call the line after hours for urgent support.
The phone line is available nationwide.
There are various support groups where you can get together with other caregivers to share your experiences and talk with others who understand the challenges and rewards of caregiving;
Grandparents Raising Grandchildren
Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder Care Action Network
The Permanent Caregiver Support Service is available for a number of permanent caregivers. Find out if you're eligible by going to their website:
National Care Standards
The National Care Standards came into effect on 1 July 2019. They set out the standard of care every child and young person is entitled to and needs to be well and do well. They also set out the support caregivers can expect to receive when they have a child or young person in their care.
Learning for caregivers
Learning opportunities are a significant part of the support we provide caregiving whānau, and they make a significant contribution to our goal of providing safe, stable, loving care for tamariki and rangatahi. These opportunities support caregivers to meet the needs of tamariki and rangatahi in their care, as well as to keep themselves well as a caregiving whānau.
Caregiver social workers will help caregiving whānau identify and take part in caregiver learning as part of the Caregiver Support Plan.
Access to counselling support and advice
All Oranga Tamariki caregivers can access the Caregiver Assistance Programme. This means you’re entitled to free, confidential counselling and advice from trained counsellors through a trusted provider called Benestar.
You can use the Caregiver Assistance Programme to get support in your role as a caregiver, or for personal issues. Support is available face-to-face, over the phone, or via email or online. Benestar has Māori and Pacific practitioners available.
You can self-refer for up to 3 free sessions every year, and more can be arranged if you need them (if the child in your care needs counselling support, this should be arranged through the child's social worker).
You can access this service by calling 0800 360 364 and letting them know you are an Oranga Tamariki caregiver. They’ll then set up an appointment for you.
If you any questions please contact your caregiver social worker for a confidential chat.
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Published: February 14, 2023 · Updated: February 14, 2023