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Page URL: https://practice.orangatamariki.govt.nz/core-practice/practice-tools/other-practice-and-assessment-tools/gateway-assessments/
Printed: 18/07/2024
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Last updated: 01/04/2019

Gateway assessments

A gateway assessment is an interagency process that helps to clarify and identify ways to address the health and education needs of tamariki we work with.

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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:
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What is a gateway assessment

A gateway assessment consists of:

  • gathering health, education and wellbeing information for te tamaiti
  • an assessment with a medical practitioner
  • an interagency plan to follow up on identified needs.

We use the assessment to build a complete picture (social, emotional, educational, physical and developmental) of the needs of te tamaiti, and make sure they get access to the right services as early as possible.

When to use it

We make a gateway assessment referral:

  • when a referral for a care and protection family group conference is made, or following it if appropriate
  • within 10 working days of entering our care 
  • for tamariki already in our care if we think it would be beneficial.

Preparing for the care and protection family group conference

Who uses it

The social worker for te tamaiti makes the gateway referral.

How to use it

Gateway assessment flowchart (PDF 204 KB)

1 Obtain caregiver consent

We need consent from the parent of te tamaiti (who must be a legal guardian) to make the gateway referral.

The social worker for te tamaiti should:

  • explain the process
  • outline the benefits for te tamaiti — the assessment will help us understand what te tamaiti needs to do well and get the right support
  • obtain guardian consent — engaging guardians early and helping them to understand how gateway assessments will help te tamaiti is important to gaining their consent. 

2 Create referrals

The social worker creates a gateway referral for te tamaiti in CYRAS, describing their:

  • health history
  • care placements
  • emotional and mental health strengths and concerns.

How to make a gateway referral in CYRAS (PDF 469 KB)

They send the referral to the Gateway Assessment Coordinator (employed by the local DHB).

At the same time, the social worker also sends a request for an education profile. Depending on how old te tamaiti is, send this to their:

  • early childhood education centre
  • local RTLB Cluster Manager if they're between 5 and 14 and at school. The RTLB Cluster Manager will forward the education profile onto the RTLB who works in their school
  • education provider (school, polytech, etc) if they're over 15. You'll need to explain the gateway process and request an educational profile.

3 Collect health information

The Gateway Assessment Coordinator arranges the health appointment, and collates background information from Plunket, the Ministry of Health and other providers.

The social worker must ensure te tamaiti is able to travel to attend the gateway assessment appointment with their parents/caregivers. The social worker for te tamaiti must also attend (or another social worker who knows te tamaiti if you are unable to), as health professionals value the information that you have about te tamaiti and their family circumstances.

A comprehensive assessment is usually undertaken by:

  • a paediatrician if te tamaiti is 12 or under
  • a youth health assessor if te tamaiti is 13–17.

4 Receive report

The assessor writes a gateway report and uploads it to CYRAS. The gateway report may also be shared with:

  • the legal counsel for te tamaiti
  • their teacher
  • their GP
  • health and education professionals attending the multi-disciplinary meeting.

5 Recommend services

The Gateway Assessment Coordinator drafts an Interagency Services Agreement (ISA) with recommendations of the services and supports that could be provided locally to address needs.

The ISA is discussed at a multi-disciplinary clinical meeting and agreed by the:

  • Gateway Assessment Coordinator
  • social worker
  • health assessor
  • mental health providers
  • appropriate NGO services
  • education provider.

As the key worker for te tamariki, the social worker's participation and input is essential at this meeting.  The meeting is also the opportunity to agree which agency will pay for the services and who will make the referrals.

Once it's agreed, the ISA is uploaded to CYRAS by the Gateway Assessment Coordinator.

6 Agree next steps

The social worker discusses the recommendations with te tamaiti and their whānau or family and caregiver, and seeks their agreement before making any referrals to proposed services. The ISA can also be shared with the family group conference.

The agreed services and supports then become part of the plan for te tamaiti.

We also use the information from the gateway assessment to inform the Tuituia assessment and the family group conference or court plan for te tamaiti.

Assessment and planning