Changes to 'Caring for children and young people policy' and 'When children and young people move policy'

28 February 2017

As part of our ongoing work to strengthen our response to mokopuna in care, changes have been made to two of our policies to better align them with best practice.

When children and young people move (including overseas) policy

  • A discussion must occur between supervisors from the originating and receiving offices to agree on the appropriateness of a case transfer before a request for transfer via CYRAS is made
  • There are no reasons to decline a transfer request  
  • In addition to a supervisor accepting a case transfer within five working days a key social worker must also be allocated within the same timeframe
  • Mokopuna records must be up-to-date prior to request for transfer, this includes a current Tuituia assessment and tasks such as the assessment and full approval of caregivers with whom the mokopuna is to be or has been placed
  • The case transfer process is to apply to approved caregivers and adoptive parents when they move, and the receiving office will make sure that they are visited within 10 working days of the transfer being accepted
  • When mokopuna live outside of their home area, the originating office can make a request for a co-worker from the office nearest to where the mokopuna is staying but the key social worker retains responsibility for visiting and engaging with the mokopuna and keeping their plan on track
  • Approval for overseas travel for mokopuna in the custody of the chief executive must be sought when the travel is for four or more weeks.

Caring for children and young people policy

  • A new section (‘When mokopuna return home after a period of care’) includes all of the policy statements about professional meetings, social work visits and review which relate to return home.
  • The decision to return mokopuna home to a parent or parent figure who has previously cared for them must be based on a robust Tuituia assessment of the situation they will be living in, and mokopuna (where appropriate), parents and family/whānau must participate in the return home meetings
  • In the section entitled ‘The plan for mokopuna’, all plans for mokopuna must include objectives ‘and measures for these’, and ‘in addition to the required formal reviews through Court, informal reviews of the plan using the Tuituia assessment framework must take place within three months of mokopuna entering care, and every three months thereafter’
  • In the section entitled ‘Visiting and engaging with mokopuna’, all mokopuna who are in the custody of the chief executive or involved with Child, Youth and Family by way of a family/whānau agreement, family group conference outcome, and support order must be visited by their social worker at least every eight weeks, and all  visits with mokopuna must be recorded in CYRAS
  • Gateway assessment referrals must be made prior to a care and protection family group conference being convened and if there are immediate concerns for the health of the mokopuna, regardless of their care status, an initial health check must be undertaken
  • If the “All about me” care information cannot be provided on the day of placement caregivers must still receive some basic information about the mokopuna on that day
  • Operations manager approval must be received prior to a placement of three or more unrelated mokopuna with a family, ‘including Family Home caregivers’ (this number does not included the caregiver’s own children), and there must never be more than six mokopuna placed in a Family Home at any time.