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The following information was requested from all agencies.

Provide information on any initiatives that have been implemented to support better outcomes for tamariki and rangatahi in relation to regulation 69.

Experience

Across the three Oranga Tamariki sites visited, staff indicated the working relationship with iwi has set in place a strong foundation from which tamariki, rangatahi and their whānau can be supported. This has been highly valued by staff at all levels.

A social worker at one site said, “it’s great we just pop down to the local [iwi] provider and we are always welcome. We work together as we all want our moko to thrive.” Reciprocally, the local iwi provider is often at the local Oranga Tamariki site and have a desk they can use. There has been a great deal of effort put into strengthening the relationship and building trust between the two groups. This foundation has led to them working together to support all involved when there is an allegation of abuse or neglect.

In relation to regulation 69, staff at one Oranga Tamariki site said that support from its local leadership has created an opportunity to operate in a te ao Māori way. They told us that the site has adopted a strength and solutions-based process, which enhances positive outcomes. This includes processes associated with allegations of abuse and neglect.

Barnardos has developed a set of measures with the aim of reducing disparities for Māori tamariki and rangatahi. It has been designing ways to capture information on its client management system.

It has amended its foster care induction training to support cultural components of s7AA [1]. In this way, it hopes to better equip prospective caregivers to meet and respond to the needs of tamariki and rangatahi in a culturally appropriate way. 

Barnardos advised that its Foster Care s7AA Action Plan addresses the need for an additional competency specifically focused on the cultural needs of tamariki and rangatahi in care, and how caregivers can be supported to achieve this. This discussion has included the need for ongoing cultural oversight from partners.

Barnardos reported several initiatives that it has implemented to better support outcomes for tamariki and rangatahi in relation to regulation 69, in line with s7AA:

  • Tamariki and caregiver plans are reviewed every three to six months in conjunction with Oranga Tamariki. These are then approved by either the Barnardos team leader or senior management. In this way, Barnardos ensures quality assurance and maintains oversight of the placement stability and potential risk factors.
  • Incident reporting is entered via the client management system, which must now be approved by a team leader or senior management. This enables data collection that provides information towards self-monitoring for continuous improvement and national visibility of incidents.
  • A monthly staff webinar is held to introduce local iwi connections.
  • Appointment of cultural advisors to work with Barnardos rangatahi to find and connect with their iwi links. These advisors also support staff in their knowledge of te ao Māori, and weaving this into everyday practice.
  • Development of a National Action Plan with the National Manager Māori is underway, to build relationships with local hapū and iwi with the intention of being able to return rangatahi home.

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[1] Section 7AA is the duties the Chief Executive must carry out to recognise and provide a practical commitment to the principles of Te Tiriti o Waitangi – Oranga Tamariki Act 1989.

Open Home Foundation reported that it is in the process of building relationships with many iwi and Māori groups throughout New Zealand, which will help ensure tamariki and whānau get the best and most appropriate support in the event of allegations being made.

It has also adjusted its Abuse Allegations of a Child or Young Person in Care policy and process adding the requirement that if the rangatahi or tamaiti is Māori then the Te Kaiwhakahaere Matua (General Manager Māori) is to be consulted. This will help ensure that the response and support provided is culturally appropriate for te tamaiti, their whānau and/or those caring for them.


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