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Page URL: https://practice.orangatamariki.govt.nz/core-practice/practice-tools/other-practice-and-assessment-tools/practice-triggers/
Printed: 14/06/2024
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Last updated: 01/04/2019

Practice triggers

Use these practice triggers to guide decision-making and help with case planning.

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 approach

When to use them

Use the practice triggers in conjunction with the practice framework and other tools when working with:

  • tamariki under five
  • tamariki affected by family violence
  • disabled tamariki.

How to use them

Choose the practice triggers that best fit the case you're working on. Then use them as a prompt:

  • as part of case supervision
  • during case consults
  • when completing a Tuituia assessment
  • when you're planning for a home visit, or debriefing afterwards.

Vulnerable infant practice triggers

Use the vulnerable infant practice triggers at the point of intake and in all child and family assessments and investigations that include a tamaiti aged under 5 years.

Access additional guidance, information and resources:
Working with tamariki aged under 5 years
Strengthening our response to unborn or newborn pēpi
Tākai – evidence-based child development information and resources (pregnancy to 5 years)

Family violence practice triggers

These triggers are particularly helpful in local inter-agency response forums like the Family Violence Interagency Response System (FVIARS).

Disability practice triggers

Use these triggers as a prompt to identify services and processes needed when working with disabled tamariki.


  • Assess needs early — obtain a diagnosis to inform and access services.
  • Mobilise cross-sectoral services to ensure appropriate supports are in place.
  • Plan transition to adult services early — don't leave it until the last minute.


  • Disabled tamariki can communicate — look for ways to seek their views.
  • Keep language straightforward and avoid jargon.
  • Speak directly to te tamaiti.
  • Consider information that may be generated through gestures, facial expressions and behaviours.


Ages and developmental stages

Tamariki and rangatahi go through various stages as they grow. There are typical behaviours that are expected at each stage, and ways that adults can help.

Ages and stages | Parent Help

Tākai – evidence-based child development information and resources (pregnancy to 5 years)