Based on the information received, the Monitor concludes that there is partial compliance with regulations 69 and 85 from an operational perspective. Each agency has policies and processes in place to meet the standard required as well as plans to improve practice and self-monitoring processes. However, as the monitoring requirements only came into place from 1 July 2019 there is little evidence around assurance of compliance or any trends that demonstrate practice improvements that may link to improved outcomes for children in care.
This report has provided an opportunity for each agency with children and young people in its custody and care to review their practice and assurance processes and take an objective look at themselves in terms of readiness to meet the NCS Regulations. They have also each begun a programme of work to enhance practice and processes.
The process has enabled the Monitor’s Framework to be tested as to whether the necessary information has been provided for the Monitor to fulfil its current function. While baseline information has been received the Framework will require updating to request the data required to monitor the NCS Regulations including case validation through engaging stakeholders and triangulating information.
It has been a necessary starting point for both the providers and the Monitor to understand current practice and to determine what may be required to achieve full compliance with all of the regulations, not only 69 and 85. Relationships between the Monitor and the agencies have been established and a review of each Memorandum of Understanding will take place with a particular focus on the revision of the Framework. This work will be completed by February 2020 to be ready for the data request for the second report due in June 2020.
The focus of the next report will include at least six months, with the possibility of nine months, of data from each agency and will provide more of a deep dive into actual decision making at each point of the process when determining appropriate steps are taken with the parties to the allegation, including a review of the caregiver’s plan. The Monitor will also be seeking information on the outcomes for children and young people as well as further practice enhancements implemented following consideration of reporting by Oranga Tamariki.