Reports

The Independent Children’s Monitor will regularly report to the Minister for Children on its monitoring activity.

The Monitor will produce three reports over the coming months. The initial report will be presented to the Minister for Children in December 2019, the second in June 2020 and the third in December 2020. Once released, the reports will be published here to read and download.

Date: 11.08.2020

Release of the second report on agency compliance with NCS Regulations 1 October to 31 December 2019

The Monitor’s second report covers agency compliance with the Oranga Tamariki (National Care Standards and Related Matters) Regulations 2018 (NCS Regulations).

The report focuses on regulations 69 and 85, which relate to reports of abuse and neglect of children and young people in care, and regulation 86, which requires agencies to monitor their own compliance.

There are currently four agencies that have statutory care and custody of tamariki and rangatahi, and are being monitored under this legislation – Oranga Tamariki, Dingwall Trust, Open Home Foundation and Barnardos.

The report outlines findings for the six-month period from 1 July to 31 December 2019, including the three months from 1 July to 30 September 2019 covered in the initial report. Monitored agencies have provided responses on those findings.

Summary of findings – 1 October 2019 to 31 December 2019:

  • All agencies were compliant with regulations 69, 85 and 86 from a policy and procedure perspective.
  • In response to regulations 69 and 85, Barnardos and Dingwall Trust reported no cases of abuse or neglect and therefore testing of their compliance was not required.
  • Open Home Foundation reported one allegation of abuse or neglect and Oranga Tamariki reported 392 allegations of abuse or neglect.
  • Based on information provided, Open Home Foundation was compliant with regulations 69 and 85.
  • Based on information provided, Oranga Tamariki was only partially compliant with regulation 69. It has been successful in ensuring a child’s plan is reviewed, and there has been improvement in reviewing caregiver plans and providing support. Three primary areas for improvement were identified.
    • The timeliness of investigations and assessments following an allegation of abuse or harm.
    • Letting tamariki, rangatahi and relevant parties know about the outcome of the allegation.
    • Providing assurance over allegations, where a decision is made, either at the Oranga Tamariki National Contact Centre or a local site, that no further assessment is required.
  • Based on information provided, Oranga Tamariki was compliant with regulation 85.

The Monitor acknowledges that it will take several reporting periods for it to receive the level of quantitative and qualitative data required to draw trends and patterns, and that practice change takes time to embed within agencies.

Reporting on the full regulations from December 2020 and annual reporting will help shape a more complete picture of practice against the NCS Regulations.

Download the report    HTML version    Agency responses

Date: 27.01.2020

Release of the Independent Children’s Monitor’s initial monitoring report 1 July to 30 September 2019 – published 27 January 2020

icm report cover

This is the first report of the Independent Children’s Monitor, covering the first three months of monitoring, from 1 July to 30 September 2019. It covers agency compliance with two regulations under the National Care Standards Regulations, Regulations 69 and 85, which are about allegations of abuse or neglect of children in care and how these are dealt with.

The National Care Standards Regulations came into effect on 1 July 2019.

There are currently four agencies being monitored under this legislation – Oranga Tamariki, Dingwall Trust, Open Home Foundation and Barnardos. The Independent Children’s Monitor is phasing in its monitoring function over time. Future reports will look at compliance with all aspects of regulations under the National Care Standards. These will include evidence of outcomes for children and young people as well as further practice enhancements implemented. There is also an expectation of performance improvement to comply with the National Care Standards Regulations.

The Monitor found, in summary:

  • The four agencies have policies and processes to facilitate compliance with Regulations 69 and 85 which relate to reports of abuse and neglect of children and young people in care.
  • All four agencies made enhancements to their internal self-monitoring and quality assurance processes to enable compliance with the National Care Standards Regulations.
  • All four agencies stated that responses to cases of abuse or neglect of Māori children and young people in care or custody are largely done on a case by case basis, with Oranga Tamariki having made a significant number of practice enhancements to consider responses to Māori.
  • In response to Regulations 69 and 85, for the three-month reporting period, children and young people in the care of Barnardos and Dingwall Trust did not disclose any incidents of abuse or neglect and therefore testing their compliance with those regulations was not required. Open Home Foundation had three allegations of abuse and neglect for children in care and Oranga Tamariki had 335.
  • From the information provided and the accountabilities Open Home Foundation is responsible for, its practice is complying with Regulations 69 and 85.
  • Oranga Tamariki is partially compliant with all aspects of the regulations being monitored. Its policies, procedures and practice guidance provide adequate information to support full compliance.
  • In relation to the partial compliance by Oranga Tamariki, the information provided states the responses to allegations were mostly timely at the initial safety screen however the timeframes were not met consistently when completing assessments or investigations into the allegations. There were some data recording errors that required amendment and the child or young person was not always informed of the outcome of the investigation, if appropriate, as required by the Regulation.
  • The information provided by the agencies outlines how they will comply with the National Care Standards Regulations as well as ensure enhanced outcomes for children and young people in their custody and care. This information is relevant as it demonstrates the agencies’ commitment to aim to achieve compliance from 1 July 2019.

Download the report  HTML version Agency responses

Initial Assessment Framework and MoUs

An Initial Assessment Framework (the Framework) was developed and consulted on with the four agencies. The Framework included a series of questions that the Monitor would focus on during the initial reporting periods through until December 2020.

Download the Initial Assessment Framework - 1 July 2019

Individual Memoranda of Understanding (MoU) were agreed with each agency being monitored about how to work together with the Monitor. Each MoU includes how information will be shared and how it will be secured safely by the Monitor.

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