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Page URL: https://practice.orangatamariki.govt.nz/core-practice/practice-tools/other-practice-and-assessment-tools/safety-and-risk-screen/
Printed: 14/06/2024
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Last updated: 13/09/2023

Safety and risk screen

The safety and risk screen identifies if immediate action by Oranga Tamariki is required to secure the safety of te tamaiti or rangatahi.

What is the safety and risk screen

The safety and risk screen is used as part of the core assessment phase to record our assessment of the immediate safety of te tamaiti or rangatahi. It identifies if there are concerns that warrant immediate action by Oranga Tamariki and others to ensure the safety of te tamaiti or rangatahi while a full assessment of their oranga continues.

There are two steps to completing the safety and risk screen:

  1. undertaking visits with te tamaiti or rangatahi and their whānau or family to inform the assessment of immediate risk and safety for te tamaiti or rangatahi, and
  2. the accurate recording of the assessment in the safety and risk screen.

When to use the screen

A safety and risk screen is used when we've received a report of concern (RoC) and the site has confirmed a child and family assessment or an investigation is required.

Every report of concern receives one of the following response timeframes:

  • critical (24-hour response) or very urgent (48-hour response) where there is high risk and no immediate protection available
  • urgent – 10 working days for all other cases.

Response timeframe

The decision response tool is used to prioritise our mahi and decide how soon we need to meet with te tamaiti or rangatahi and their whānau or family. The response timeframe begins from when the report of concern is received by Oranga Tamariki. The receiving social worker (most likely the national contact centre – NCC) enters the date and time the report of concern was received into the intake screen.

The safety and risk screen is completed after we have engaged with te tamaiti or rangatahi, their whānau or family, and others who know them (including professionals and the notifier). The date of the safety and risk screen reflects the date and time the visits with te tamaiti or rangatahi and their whānau or family actually took place.

Report of concern response timeframe

Policy: Assessment

Who uses the screen

The social worker completing the assessment or investigation for te tamaiti or rangatahi.

How to use the screen

The safety and risk screen is found in CYRAS. It has two sections.

1 Factors associated with te tamaiti or rangatahi being at risk

Section 1 includes:

  • 12 factors associated with te tamaiti or rangatahi being at risk
  • the behaviours or conditions that raise concerns for safety and oranga.

The list and examples are not exhaustive – they've been designed to help us think about possible areas that could compromise the safety of te tamaiti or rangatahi.

In this section:

  1. Identify the relevant factors that we're worried about for each tamaiti or rangatahi in the whānau or family.
  2. Record brief details about the specific behaviours, conditions and/or circumstances associated with that particular factor.
  3. Record 'not applicable' against each factor that does not relate to te tamaiti or rangatahi.
  4. Consider any specific inherent vulnerabilities in te tamaiti or rangatahi, such as age, repeated victimisation, or diminished psychological or physical capacity.
  5. Also consider:
    • Is there a history of self-harm, suicidal ideation or behavioural concerns?
    • Has there been prior Oranga Tamariki involvement?
    • Does the whānau or family have a history of engaging with services?
    • Does the whānau or family have the capacity to respond appropriately to te tamaiti or rangatahi in order to keep them safe?

2 Decision and next steps

In section 2, we use all of the information we know to form a view about the concerns and determine if ongoing involvement by Oranga Tamariki is needed.

  1. We record te tamaiti or rangatahi as 'not safe' in the safety and risk screen if there are care, protection or support concerns that require continued involvement with Oranga Tamariki. We must outline how safety is being built while further assessment takes place – for example, we have arranged for them to stay with Nana for the weekend.
  2. Where te tamaiti or rangatahi is identified as being safe, describe the strengths and protective factors that exist and how these are keeping te tamaiti or rangatahi safe.
  3. Where the whānau or family has needs that can be met by a community-based service or other government agency, we can refer them to the service with their consent.

Protect and support the development of tamariki and rangatahi within healthy whānau and families

When urgent action is needed to secure the safety of pēpi, tamariki and rangatahi

Policy: Caregiver and adoptive applicant assessment and approval – Provisional approval for urgent placements

Recording the 'date and time' of the assessment in the safety and risk screen

Once engagement with te tamaiti or rangatahi and their whānau or family has occurred, the safety and risk screen can be completed. When completing the safety and risk screen, it is important to manually change the date and time of the screen so it reflects when the assessment of safety occurred.

Remember, the safety and risk screen must be dated after the date and time the report of concern was received, and before the response timeframe has expired. We take note of the date and time recorded on the report of concern so we can ensure we date the safety and risk screen appropriately.

Staff resource: CYRAS handbook – Safety and risk screen

Common timeframe recording errors

If there is any delay in recording a safety and risk screen, but the safety assessment has been completed (within the timeframe), the safety and risk screen can be manually backdated to accurately record the safety of te tamaiti or rangatahi within the required timeframe.

Some common errors can occur and cause information to be recorded inaccurately. The following scenarios show how they can be easily corrected.