In response to COVID-19, we are modifying some of our usual practice approaches to keep our staff, tamariki and communities safe.

Maintaining COVID-19 safe and aware practice

We have updated our guidance for Alert Level 2. Keep checking back for updates and new guidance, including our contact tracing requirements (PDF 133KB), guidance for holding tamariki and rangatahi related in-person meetings (PDF 203KB) and the planning tool for holding FGCs and hui person to person safely (PDF 168KB).

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Printed: 04/06/2020
Printed pages may be out of date. Please check this information is current before using it in your practice.

Last updated: 21/05/2020

Assessment, plans and orders

Summary of COVID-19 guidance about assessment, plans and orders.

Summary of guidance

Guidance Key factors to take into account Related guidance
Intake and assessment and maintaining safety

Where we have established safety and maintained safety plans by primarily remote means, person to person engagement should be prioritised.

Work with police to identify and prioritise child witness interviews and other joint investigation tasks ensuring referrals made and/or placed on hold during Alert Level 3 & 4 are reviewed for prioritisation.

Hui ā-whānau and family meetings held by remote means may have only been able to address immediate safety considerations and could be reconvened or held in person now.

Key partners, providers and professionals may also be increasing their person to person engagement with whānau, which can provide added safety for tamariki as will the ability for most tamariki to return to school or early childhood education.



Assessing safety needs for tamariki and rangatahi in care

Responding to COVID-19-specific reports of concern (PDF 207 KB)

This guidance supports decision-making about whether a report of concern or assessment is required when we are contacted about COVID-19-specific tamariki wellbeing concerns. These might include school participation, parental or rangatahi non-compliance with alert level requirements or public health related matters.

Supporting care and protection plans and orders

We can develop, support, monitor and review plans more effectively by undertaking more person to person engagement with tamariki, their whānau, caregivers and others supporting them. We need to consider:

  • where plans were modified in line with previous alert level restrictions, evaluate what was happening before the period of isolation and whether those support can be re-established
  • as we move down alert levels more services are likely to re-open or become physically accessible rather than remotely.

What additional support is required as a result of the period of isolation? Have new needs emerged during or because of COVID-19 impacts?

Policy: All About Me plan

Guidance: All About Me plan

Family group conference plans

Family Court

The Ministry of Justice has released court protocols which have been designed to keep court users safe. We must follow these when attending and interacting with the Family Court.

The step down to Alert Level 2 is in force from the Monday after the transition.

Most court appearances will return to in person using infection prevention and control processes, but considerations for remote attendance need to be made where vulnerable people might be attendees or have close contact with attendees.

Dispensation for travel inter-regionally may also be considered.

Person to person interviews should be carried out for the purpose of completing section 132 reports and Family Violence Act reports.

Court attendance

Decisions about whether a staff member can safely attend Family Court should be made in consultation with Legal Services (usually a solicitor).This decision is based on attendance being consistent with protocols and that court has undertaken appropriate steps to ensure onsite safety. Concerns about safety should be brought to the attention of court staff.

Court protocols during COVID-19 alert levels — District Court of NZ website

Policy: Family Court