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 family or with other caregivers, and to ensure their needs are being met.
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.
All About Me Plans for every child
All children and young people coming into care are entitled to an All About Me Plan which they will be involved in developing.
All About Me Plans are unique for every child, and include information about how they’ll be supported and have their needs met while they are in care.
They will also receive:
- a child-friendly copy of the plan
- information about their caregiver
- information on their rights and entitlements
- how to make a complaint if they feel they’re not getting the level of care they are entitled to.
Watch the video below to find out why the plans are important.
Child one: “I feel safe and close to my whānau and get to spend time with them.”
Child two: “I know where I come from and who I am.”
Child three: “My caregiver makes sure I am healthy and have the right diet and medication I need.”
Child four: “My caregiver helps me with my homework to keep me on track at school.”
Child five: “My caregiver takes me to sports practice and cheers me on from the side-line.”
What tamariki can expect
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.
If tamariki or rangatahi have to move while they are in care or are leaving care they will be well supported through this time.
Under the National Care Standards, every child and young person is entitled to:
- My Rights My Voice booklet which explains their rights while they are in care
- A copy of their All About Me Plan
- Welcome to our Home booklet from their caregiver
- Information pouch for their important documents
- Bag to carry their belongings in
- Life Events Book and kit to record their significant life events
- Memory box to store things they treasure.
VOYCE – Whakarongo Mai: advocacy service for children in care
If you're a child or young person in care, VOYCE – Whakarongo Mai is an independent connection and advocacy service, separate from Oranga Tamariki—Ministry for Children, and we're here to listen to you, support you, and be on your side. Part of what we also do is organise fun and engaging events for kids with care experience so you can connect with each other.
Published: July 12, 2019 · Updated: July 12, 2019