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Printed: 03/10/2022
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Last updated: 17/09/2020

Considerations when responding to information received

Use these prompts to gather and assess as much information as possible from the person reporting the concerns about te tamaiti.

Upcoming changes for this content

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 content. The following resources provide support:
Practice for working effectively with Māori
Our practice shift

Focus on tamariki

  • What is the impact of this situation on te tamaiti?
  • What is te tamaiti experiencing?
  • Has the referrer spoken with te tamaiti? If so, what did te tamaiti say?

Whānau or family responsiveness and services

  • Has the referrer spoken with the whānau or family of te tamaiti? If so, what was the response?
  • What is the whānau or family connectedness to whakapapa, hapū, iwi or extended family support?
  • Are there factors impacting on the capacity or willingness of the whānau or family, such as disability, trauma, illness, substance abuse or criminal activity?
  • Are there community or iwi/cultural services which could meet the needs of te tamaiti and whānau or family?
  • If community or iwi/cultural services are currently involved, what impact is the service having on the current needs of te tamaiti and whānau or family?

Safety and wellbeing

  • Is there a safe adult willing and able to meet the immediate safety and wellbeing needs of te tamaiti?
  • What is the ability of wider whānau or family to add safety?
  • Are there other factors that help mitigate wellbeing concerns or reduce the risk of harm?
  • Is the safety and wellbeing of siblings or other tamariki in the same household being considered?
  • Are there concerns around risk to longer-term wellbeing?

Vulnerability, pattern and impact

  • Is te tamaiti currently in care or custody?
  • Are there other factors that make te tamaiti particularly vulnerable, such as age, disability, trauma, cognitive or developmental issues?
  • Is there a pattern (frequency and severity) that raises concerns?
  • Consider cumulative harm and intergenerational trauma. What impact and effects are past and current experiences having on te tamaiti?
  • Have care and protection concerns previously been identified? If so, what actions were taken and what was the outcome?

Willingness and capacity

  • Do te tamaiti and their whānau or family acknowledge the need for additional supports?
  • Is there motivation by the whānau or family to engage?


  • Has te tamaiti or rangatahi committed an offence?
  • What is the nature of this offence?
  • Are police involved?
  • Is there a current Youth Justice status?

Intake and early assessment

Assessment is an ongoing process of building understanding to inform whānau or family and professional decision-making.
Intake and early assessment