Question One

Have there been any updates to your policies, procedures, tools and practices for responding to allegations of abuse or neglect in respect to tamariki or rangatahi in care?

Each agency provided their updates and changes to policies, procedures and practice in relation to regulation 69.

Open Home Foundation

Open Home Foundation reported it updated its Allegations of Abuse Policy and Process to include information explaining what front-line staff must provide to Oranga Tamariki when reporting an allegation of harm for a child in its care. The agency also reported the record keeping function of the client management system has been strengthened to include allegations that are made against someone other than a caregiver (previously the system only captured allegations against caregivers). Open Home Foundation’s policy and process documentation continues to meet the requirements of regulation 69.

Dingwall Trust

Dingwall Trust reported the development of a workplan to complete a wide-ranging review of its policy documents. It is working to integrate a draft incident reporting policy in line with the introduction of a new incident report application called “Peoplesafe”. This is currently in a trial phase and will allow Dingwall Trust to capture all incidents and gather statistical information for reporting purposes.

Its client management system is undergoing further development to ensure ease of reporting to Oranga Tamariki. Dingwall Trust has introduced a new caregiver review tool for use after an allegation has been reported and investigated by Oranga Tamariki. Dingwall Trust’s policy and process documentation continues to meet the requirements of regulation 69.

Barnardos

Barnardos reported it has updated its Foster Care Policy to provide further clarity to staff on responding to allegations of risk of harm as well as caregiver review requirements following an allegation.

It reported the implementation of an interim procedure to ensure child protection incidents and serious incidents have national oversight within the organisation. This will remain in place while a technical solution is designed on the client management system.

Barnardos’ policy and process documentation continues to meet the requirements of regulation 69.

Oranga Tamariki

Oranga Tamariki reported several changes to policy, procedure and guidance documents. These updates have been published on the Oranga Tamariki Practice Centre, and include:

  • working with tamariki and rangatahi in care when an allegation of abuse, neglect or harm is against a person in their home; this guidance accompanies the “mana tamaiti objectives” 8 and guidance for working with tamariki and whānau Māori
  • explaining rights and entitlements to tamariki and rangatahi
  • assessing safety needs for tamariki in care
  • additional reference that an allegation of abuse should initiate a review of the “All About Me” plan 9
  • additional reference that an allegation of abuse should initiate a review of the caregiver support plan 10
  • emphasis on the importance of the provider and Oranga Tamariki working well together in relation to a notification of an allegation involving a contracted provider who is caring for a child on behalf of Oranga Tamariki.

Oranga Tamariki reported that work continues on developing further guidance, policy documents and tools in relation to regulation 69.

Oranga Tamariki policy and practice documentation continues to meet the requirements of regulation 69.

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8. Oranga Tamariki recognises that every tamaiti (child) is born with ‘mana’ or a deep intrinsic worth and human potential. Part of its work with te tamaiti is to nurture their mana through practice. This supports them to achieve positive, lifelong aspirations and outcomes, not only for themselves, but for future generations. This strengthens their whakapapa. Oranga Tamariki has developed mana tamaiti practice guidance, which is available to view on its practice centre - https://practice.orangatamariki.govt.nz/practice-standards/practice-framework-knowledge-and-evidence-base/mana-tamaiti/
9. The “All About Me” plan addresses the needs identified in the needs assessment and holds important information about each tamaiti or rangatahi in the care of Oranga Tamariki.
10. A document that outlines the support and resources needed for the caregiver to build their capability and maintain their own family/whānau functioning, such as training, counselling and financial support.

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