Caring for someone

COVID-19 information for caregivers

We’re committed to making sure our caregivers have the information they need to keep themselves and the children in their care safe and well. We'll be sending weekly email updates to caregivers. If you do not currently receive emails from us, please contact your caregiver social worker or call us on 0508 227 377 to update your contact details.

Your wellbeing

It's really important we all look after our mental health during this challenging time. Be aware of how you respond to stress and put some supports in place that work for you:

  • Reach out to your whānau, friends, other caregivers, and your social worker.
  • The Mental Health Foundation’s Getting Through Together campaign has lots of helpful information and resources.
  • SKIP has useful tips and advice about staying calm with kids.
  • Set yourself realistic goals each day and think of small rewards for yourself.
  • Give yourself breaks, like getting fresh air, putting on music, or having a hot shower.

Wellbeing of children and young people

Children and young people may feel anxious, afraid, lonely and frustrated over this time. Make sure they know that people respond to emergencies in lots of different ways - and all of them are normal. 

You can support them by:

  • Staying calm and reassuring, as they will take their cues from you.
  • Helping them to express and validate their feelings through music, drawing, talking.
  • Easing their worries and concerns by making them feel safe and cared for.
  • Giving them practical advice, like how to wash their hands and connect with their friends and whānau.

Our guide to talking about traumatic events with children and young people might be useful. 

The University of Auckland has developed a chatbot called Aroha to help young people manage stress during this time. It offers practical, evidence-based tools and ideas to maintain social connection and stay active. 

Where to get support

If you’re worried about the mental health of a child or young person in your care:

  • Get in touch with their social worker
  • Call or text 1737 anytime (it’s free)
  • Call the Government Helpline on 0800 779 997

Children and young people can reach out to:

  • 0800 What's Up - 0800 942 8787 (run by Barnardos)
  • VOYCE-Whakarongo Mai - 0800 486 923 (support and advocacy for children and young people who have been or are in care)
  • Youthline - 0800 376 633 or free text 234

If you need support with grief, anxiety, distress or mental wellbeing, call or text 1737 – free, anytime, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week – to talk with a trained counsellor.  

If you’re worried about the safety of a child or young person, and want to make a referral or report of concern, call us on freephone 0508 326 459.

Māori Health Providers

Māori Health Providers across the motu are here to assist you and your whānau.

Family and sexual violence prevention

Family and sexual violence services are considered essential services, and are still available at all alert levels. The Unite Against COVID-19 website has further information.

  • You can report domestic and/or sexual abuse to a doctor or a healthcare professional.
  • If you think someone could be harmed or may harm themselves, call the Police on 111.

For support reach out to:

  • Women’s Refuge National Helpline: 0800 REFUGE / 0800 733 843
  • shine* Domestic Abuse Helpline: 0508 744 633
  • Shakti 24-hour Crisis Line, with multi-lingual staff: 0800 SHAKTI / 0800 742 584
  • Rape Crisis National Call Line: 0800 88 33 00
  • Safe to Talk/Kōrero Mai Ka Ora 24/7 Sexual Harm Helpline: 0800 044 334 or text 4334
  • Elder Abuse Response Service National Helpline: 0800 EA NOT OK / 0800 32 668 65
  • Family Violence Information Line: 0800 456 450 (available 9.00am -11.00pm daily)