VOYCE Whakarongo Mai is an independent advocacy service for children in care and can help connect you with other services. Find out more at www.voyce.org.nz
Freephone: 0800 4VOYCE (0800 486 923) or send a message online 

Youth Law provides free legal services for all tamariki
Children (plural) aged 0-13 yearsView the full glossary
and rangatahi
Young person aged 14 – 21 years of ageView the full glossary
, or people making enquiries on their behalf. Find out more at youthlaw.co.nz, phone Youth Law on 0800 884 529 or email legal@youthlaw.co.nz

 

Helplines for counselling support

  • Need to talk? If you need to talk about how you're feeling right now, trained counsellors are available free of charge at anytime of the day or night. Find out more at 1737.org.nz 
    Free call or text anytime on 1737
  • What's Up is a free helpline and online chat service for children and young people ages 5-18. Find out more at  whatsup.co.nz 
    Call 0800 WHATSUP (0800 942 8787) from 11am to 11pm. Online chat is available at whatsup.co.nz from 11am to 10.30pm every day.
  • The Lowdown is a space created with rangatahi for rangatahi. You can learn, express and engage around your hauora (wellbeing), identity, culture and mental health. Trained counsellors are also available to help. Find out more at thelowdown.co.nz
    Free text 5626 or call 0800 111 757 email team@thelowdown.co.nz

 

Caring Families Aotearoa
New ZealandView the full glossary
supports caregivers of children in care. Find out more at www.caringfamilies.org.nz

Freephone: 0800 693 323 or email: enquiries@caringfamilies.org.nz

 

Helplines for counselling support

  • Need to talk? If you, or someone you know, needs to talk about how they're feeling right now, trained counsellors are available free of charge at anytime of the day or night. Find out more at 1737.org.nz 
    Free call or text anytime on 1737

For Tamariki
Children (plural) aged 0-13 yearsView the full glossary
or Rangitahi in care, VOYCE – Whakarongo Mai can work with you to understand your rights and help you express your views on any matter. This includes supporting you to resolve issues or make a complaint. Find out more about VOYCE at voyce.org.nz

Oranga Tamariki or community providers contracted to Oranga Tamariki

If you have a concern about how Oranga Tamariki, or a community provider contracted to Oranga Tamariki, is managing an issue the first step is to try and resolve it locally by talking to the manager of the person you have been dealing with. Call 0508 326 459 and ask to be transferred to the appropriate person.

If your concern has not been resolved by the manager, you can make a complaint to Oranga Tamariki. You can do this by:

If you’ve made a complaint and your concern is still unresolved, you can ask for a review by the Chief Executive’s Advisory Panel for Complaints. You can do this by:

  • emailing review_secretariat@ot.govt.nz
  • or writing to:
    Review Secretariat
    Chief Executive Advisory Panel for Complaints
    Oranga Tamariki—Ministry for Children 
    PO Box 546
    Wellington 6140

You can also take your complaint to the Ombudsman. The Ombudsman is independent and impartial and has the power to investigate and resolve complaints made by tamariki
Children (plural) aged 0-13 yearsView the full glossary
and rangatahi
Young person aged 14 – 21 years of ageView the full glossary
in care and their whānau
Whānau refers to people who are biologically linked or share whakapapa. For the Monitor’s monitoring purposes, whānau includes parents, whānau members living with tamariki at the point they have come into care View the full glossary
.

There will soon be a dedicated website for the Children in Care service team, in the meantime you can make a complaint to the Ombudsman by:

  • filling in an online form 
  • or writing to:
    The Ombudsman
    PO Box 10152
    Wellington 6143
  • Call 0800 802 602 if you need help making a complaint.

You can find out more about the Children in Care service team and the complaint process on the Office of the Ombudsman website.

Make a complaint to the Ombudsman

Other custody and care agencies

If you have a concern about how an agency with custody and care responsibilities is managing an issue the first step is to try and resolve it locally by talking to the manager of the person you have been dealing with.

If your concern has not been resolved by the manager, you can make a complaint.

Barnardos

If your complaint is about a service provided by Barnardos, you can make a complaint to the general manager. Ask your local office for their details, find contact information on the Barnardos website or phone 0800 227 627

Open Home Foundation

If your complaint is about the Open Home Foundation, contact your social worker's manager on 0508 673 646.  If your complaint isn't resolved by the manager, there is a complaints process outlined on the Open Home Foundation website.  This includes writing to the Practice Manager and then the Chief Executive at:

What next?

If your complaint is not resolved by the service provider, and is about a child and/or whānau
Whānau refers to people who are biologically linked or share whakapapa. For the Monitor’s monitoring purposes, whānau includes parents, whānau members living with tamariki at the point they have come into care View the full glossary
, foster care or residential service, you can make a complaint to Oranga Tamariki. You can do this by:

You can also take your complaint to the Ombudsman. The Ombudsman is independent and impartial and has the power to investigate and resolve complaints made by tamariki
Children (plural) aged 0-13 yearsView the full glossary
and rangatahi
Young person aged 14 – 21 years of ageView the full glossary
in care and their whānau.

 

There will soon be a dedicated website for the Children in Care service team, in the meantime you can make a complaint to the Ombudsman by:

  • filling in an online form 
  • or writing to:
    The Ombudsman
    PO Box 10152
    Wellington 6143
  • Call 0800 802 602 if you need help making a complaint.

You can find out more about the Children in Care service team and the complaint process on the Office of the Ombudsman website.


Make a complaint to the Ombudsman  

Advocacy, Monitoring and Investigating - the Oversight System

The ‘Oranga Tamariki System’ supports tamariki
Children (plural) aged 0-13 yearsView the full glossary
and rangatahi
Young person aged 14 – 21 years of ageView the full glossary
whose wellbeing is at significant risk of harm, now or in the future. This includes work that is done to support whānau
Whānau refers to people who are biologically linked or share whakapapa. For the Monitor’s monitoring purposes, whānau includes parents, whānau members living with tamariki at the point they have come into care View the full glossary
to reduce risk to tamariki and prevent them coming into care. It also includes work with young people who may have offended, or are likely to offend.

We are one of three independent oversight bodies who check the system is doing its job – that regulations are being followed, services are being delivered effectively, and that those services are improving outcomes for tamariki and rangatahi.

The separate roles in the Oversight of the Oranga Tamariki system are to:

  • Advocate for the interests, rights and wellbeing of children in care, including advocacy for system change. This is the role of the Children's Commissioner.
  • Monitor the performance of the system, including identifying areas for improvement. Monitoring spans compliance, quality of practice and outcomes. Reports produced by the Monitor will be used by others to advocate for system change. This is our role as Independent Monitor.
  • Investigate serious and significant issues in the system, and review complaints about Oranga Tamariki and its approved providers, as well as other government agencies who interact with children in care.  This is the role of the Ombudsman.

If you need advice on children’s rights, including the rights of a child or young person in care, or want someone to help you advocate for system change, you can contact the Office of the Children’s Commissioner on phone 0800 224 453 or email children@occ.org.nz 

Find out more about the Children's Commissioner: www.occ
Office of the Children's Commissioner View the full glossary
.org.nz  

If you’d like to find out how the system is performing, or what is working well, and what isn’t, for tamariki, rangatahi and their whānau and caregivers across Aotearoa
New ZealandView the full glossary
you can read our regular reports here, email us on info@icm.org.nz or contact us via our contact form

If you have a complaint that Oranga Tamariki or its approved providers haven’t resolved, or your complaint is about other government agencies who interact with children in care, you can contact the Ombudsman on 0800 802 602 or email info@ombudsman.parliament.nz

Find out more about the Ombudsman: www.ombudsman.parliament.nz

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