Who can be a caregiver?

We find and support the right caregivers to provide safe, stable, loving homes for children or tamariki and young people or rangatahi in need of care.

Father and son high five

Caring for children and young people

Our priority is to find a caregiver from within a child’s wider family, whānau or community who can offer them a safe, stable, loving home for as long as needed.

We do this in several ways, including through family group conferences, hui a-whānau and our Whānau Care partnerships.

Sometimes we also need non-kin caregivers for a child or young person until they can safely return home or go to stay with a caregiver from their wider family or whānau. We support our non-kin caregivers to keep children in their care connected to their whānau or family and whakapapa.

We also need both whānau or family and non-kin caregivers who can care for children and young people in an emergency or when their usual caregiver takes a break.

People who provide care for children or tamariki and young people or rangatahi through Oranga Tamariki need to be permanent New Zealand residents or New Zealand citizens.

Caring for tamariki Māori

Around 70% of children or tamariki and young people or rangatahi in care are Māori, and we’re working in partnership with iwi and kāupapa Māori providers to connect tamariki Māori in care to caregivers from their whānau, hapū or iwi.

Through co-design we support our Whānau Care partners to determine their own ways of caring for their tamariki and rangatahi.

The needs of our Whānau Care partners are all slightly different based on their aspirations for their tamariki, so the models of care we co-design differ from partner to partner. The end goal is always the same – to connect tamariki and rangatahi Māori in care to their whakapapa through well-supported whānau caregivers.

If you’re interested in becoming a whānau caregiver with one of our Whānau Care partners, please get in touch with us on 0508 227 377 and we can see if one of our partners would be a good fit for you.

Interested in caring for a child or young person?

Oranga Tamariki supports both whānau or family and non-kin caregivers.

Check out the pages in this section to find out what’s involved including financial assistance and training.

Make an enquiry using our online form

Published: March 13, 2017 · Updated: June 7, 2022