The Monitor’s job is to provide independent assurance that supports agencies to ensure the wellbeing and interests of tamariki (children) and rangatahi (young people) are at the centre of how the state delivers care, and to support and hold to account the organisations that provide that care.
It will do this by independently monitoring the Oranga Tamariki system to:
- provide assurance that Oranga Tamariki and approved organisations are meeting their obligations under the Oranga Tamariki Act 1989; and
- promote improvements to the system by identifying and sharing insights on examples of high performance and areas for improvement.
Building the Monitor
The monitoring function will be phased in over time, both to ensure it is established properly and because some future enabling legislation is under development. As this type of system monitor is new, we also must design and build the systems and processes we need. The Monitor is being developed in three phases:
Established on 1 July 2019, the Monitor's initial focus is on agencies’ compliance with the Regulations 69 and 85 of the Oranga Tamariki (National Care Standards and Related Matters) Regulations 2018 (National Care Standards Regulations). These regulations are about allegations of abuse or neglect of children in care and how these are dealt with.
The Monitor will oversee and monitor all the requirements of the National Care Standards Regulations by December 2020.
Once the new legislation is passed, the Monitor will expand the monitoring function to cover the whole of the Oranga Tamariki system, from early intervention to post transition from care or custody.
Who is monitored
With the initial focus on Regulations 69 and 85 of the National Care Standards Regulations (relating to allegations of abuse or neglect of children in care), the Monitor has started monitoring the four organisations with custody of tamariki (children) and rangatahi (young people). These are Oranga Tamariki, the Open Home Foundation, Barnardos New Zealand and the Dingwall Trust.
The four organisations must provide the Monitor with information on their compliance with the National Care Standards Regulations as well as reports on how they are assuring themselves that they are complying with these regulations. This information will be provided on a regular basis and must have enough detail to inform the Monitor on their performance and any proposed practice improvements.
To determine the validity of the information provided from the four organisations, the Monitor will seek the views of tamariki (children) and rangatahi (young people), their whānau and caregivers about how the system is working for them. This will provide valuable real-life information to support the Monitor’s report.
The Monitor will also meet with and visit staff from the four organisations to seek their views on how they are meeting the needs of the tamariki (children) and rangatahi (young people) they are working with.
The Monitor's engagement approach
Engagement is key to the success of this mahi (work) with a strong need to work with partners to develop how the Monitor will look and work in the future.
Engagement began with those agencies directly impacted by the National Care Standards Regulations 2018. The Monitor is at the beginning of it's engagement with Māori to talk about the overall strengthening of the oversight system.
A group of key Māori leaders, the Kāhui Group was established in May 2019 and they are instrumental to achieving the engagement and collaboration goals for the policy and legislative phase. The Kāhui Group will continue to be involved in this process as it progresses, as well as providing advice and support into the monitoring assessment approach and how the Monitor will work in the future.
Kāhui means to flock, to herd, to cluster and so denotes a group.
The members of the Kāhui Group have expertise, leadership and mana in health, justice and social services for Māori, and they are:
- Donna Matahaere-Atariki (Chair)
- Sir Mark Solomon
- Druis Barrett
- Katie Murray
- Eugene Ryder
Development of the Monitor
To inform the development of the Monitor we held a series of hui in early 2019 to talk with Māori about what a strengthened oversight system would look like. The hui were informative and supportive of establishing an independent monitor. There was great emphasis on keeping tamariki (children) safe while recognising the important role of whānau and working together to improve outcomes for tamariki in that context.
As the Monitor continues to be built, there will be opportunities for people with an interest in the work of the Independent Children’s Monitor to engage in multiple ways. The Monitor is developing the engagement plan for this and will update the website as it completes this work.
The Monitor is hosting 18 regional hui around the country from late January through to March 2020.
The purpose of the hui is to introduce the Independent Children’s Monitor, share decisions already taken and work completed so far and to understand how those who work in the sector and those who come into the contact with the Oranga Tamariki system would like to engage in this mahi in the future. There will be opportunities for you to ask questions and share your thoughts.
Those who will benefit the most from attendance are providers and community networks, those in senior roles from government agencies, local Iwi and children’s professionals.
Part of the Monitor’s broader engagement plan is to arrange future engagement with caregivers, providers, tamariki, rangatahi and whānau and those professionals at the front line at a later date in 2020.
You can register for a hui near you below. Please note, some venues have limited capacity so make sure you register to not miss out.
|Nelson Hui||Nelson, Marlborough and West Coast||30/01/2020||More|
|Blenheim Hui||Nelson, Marlborough and West Coast||31/01/2020||More|
|Hokitika Hui||Nelson, Marlborough and West Coast||11/02/2020||More|
|Palmerston North Hui||Central||13/02/2020||More|
|Rotorua Hui||Bay of Plenty||17/02/2020||More|
|Gisborne Hui||East Coast||25/02/2020||More|
|Havelock North Hui||East Coast||26/02/2020||More|
|Whanganui Hui||Taranaki, King Country and Whanganui||02/03/2020||More|
|New Plymouth Hui||Taranaki, King Country and Whanganui||03/03/2020||More|
|West Auckland Hui||Auckland||05/03/2020||More|
|South Auckland Hui||Auckland||06/03/2020||More|
|There are no events in this region|