Upcoming changes for this guidance
This content will be strengthened so it more completely reflects our commitment to practice framed by te Tiriti o Waitangi, based on a mana-enhancing paradigm for practice, and drawing from Te Ao Māori principles of oranga to support mana tamaiti, whakapapa and whanaungatanga. We each need to consider how we can apply these principles to our practice when reading this guidance. The following resources provide support:
Practice for working effectively with Māori
Our practice shift
Tamariki in care
For all allegations of harm – ill-treatment, abuse, neglect or deprivation of tamariki in care, we must complete a child and family assessment or an investigation.
No further action (NFA)
If, after completing an initial assessment, we do not consider that it is necessary to complete further assessment or investigation, our response is no further action (NFA).
An assessment or investigation is not necessary if:
- the information discloses no harm, abuse, neglect, safety or wellbeing needs for te tamaiti
- whānau or family are actively pursuing wellbeing for te tamaiti and are willing and able to respond
- the information indicates other services are engaged and are meeting the safety and wellbeing needs of te tamaiti
- the initial assessment identifies no need for a core assessment
- the matters have already been reported and are being dealt with
- the referrer is able to make appropriate alternative referrals to services for te tamaiti and their whānau or family
- the Family Violence Inter Agency Response System (FVIARS) has assessed the information and the outcome is no further action by Oranga Tamariki.
Concerns that meet the Child Protection Protocol cannot be deemed to require no further action unless consultation has occurred with NZ Police.
If we decide to take no further action
Make sure the referrer:
- understands why the investigation or assessment is not considered necessary or desirable
- has alternative options for tamariki and whānau where appropriate, such as connecting them to a local iwi or community support provider.
We record the rationale for the decision and agreed next steps.
Refer to services
This is a voluntary pathway appropriate where support from another agency, iwi or cultural social service is likely to achieve positive outcomes. We choose this pathway when the needs can be addressed, or the impact on te tamaiti minimised, with the support of other professionals or services and there are indications that the whānau are likely to be receptive to the support.
In the above context, a referral to other services is appropriate when:
- the cumulative effect of experiences is harmful to the current and long-term developmental needs of te tamaiti and the issues remain unresolved
- the home environment is chaotic and adult behaviours may harm the ongoing health, developmental and wellbeing needs of te tamaiti
- te tamaiti displays at-risk behaviours (such as substance abuse) that are not in the context of developmental experimentation or boundary pushing – the behaviours are harmful to the development, safety and wellbeing of te tamaiti
- whānau or family circumstances may be harmful to the wellbeing of te tamaiti but do not present serious harm or danger
- the needs of the whānau or family can be met through engagement with local expertise
- the whānau or family are willing to engage with or already have a relationship with a service provider and there is no current Oranga Tamariki involvement.