Release of the third report on agency compliance with NCS Regulations
Our third report covers agency compliance with the Oranga Tamariki (National Care Standards and Related Matters) Regulations 2018 (NCS Regulations).
This is our final report focusing 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. From 31 December 2020, we will monitor and report on all NCS Regulations.
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 12-month period from 1 July 2019 to 30 June 2020, including the six months from 1 July to 31 December 2019 covered in the first and third reports. Monitored agencies have provided responses on those findings.
Summary of findings – 1 July 2019 to 30 June 2020:
- All agencies were compliant with regulations 69, 85 and 86.
- In response to regulation 69, Barnardos and Dingwall Trust reported no cases of abuse or neglect and therefore testing of their compliance was not required.
- Open Home Foundation reported 12 allegations of abuse or neglect and, based on information provided, was compliant with regulation 69.
- Oranga Tamariki reported 1,831 allegations of abuse or neglect and, based on information provided, was partially compliant with regulation 69. Oranga Tamariki has shown a higher level of compliance when initially responding to an allegation of abuse or neglect and ensuring that a child’s plan is reviewed. However, there is a need to improve in the following areas:
- informing the child of the outcome of an investigation (28 percent compliance)
- informing the parent/guardian of the outcome of an investigation (32 percent compliance)
- completing investigations or assessments on time (41 percent compliance).
- Across the 12 internal practice requirements Oranga Tamariki has for regulation 69, only one percent of all cases recorded that all 12 practice requirements were met. In 39 percent of cases, fewer than six requirements were met.
- Oranga Tamariki has made improvements to its assurance processes and reported a greater focus on compliance with regulation 69. One improvement was to start checking a sample of “no further action” decisions made at the Contact Centre or at sites. A sample of 69 reports of concerns showed that of the 14 classified as relating to incidents alleging possible abuse or neglect for children in care, nine decisions were inaccurate. Due to the high number of cases where inaccuracy was apparent, the Monitor will continue to seek data and information on improvements Oranga Tamariki is undertaking to improve-decision making.
- The Monitor’s next annual report will look at all aspects of the National Care Standards. This will cover the period 1 July 2020 to 30 June 2021 and compliance with regulations 69, 85, and 69 will be an ongoing area of focus.
We acknowledge that it will take several reporting periods for us 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 31 December 2020 will help shape a more complete picture of practice against the NCS Regulations.