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).

Page URL: https://practice.orangatamariki.govt.nz/covid-19-implications-for-our-practice/family-group-conferencing-and-other-hui-and-interventions/
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Printed pages may be out of date.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: 14/04/2020

Family group conferencing and other hui and interventions

Summary of COVID-19 guidance about family group conferencing, hui and interventions.

Guidance summarised in the table

  • Family group conferencing for care and protection and youth justice at Alert Level 2
  • Holding tamariki and rangatahi related in-person meetings
  • Hui ā-whānau
  • Family meetings
  • Supporting care and protection plans and orders

Summary of guidance

Guidance Key factors to take into account Related guidance
Family group conferencing for care and protection and youth justice at Alert Level 2 (PDF 183 KB)

The following changes have been made to support the transition to Alert Level 2:

Most FGCs can be held in person, where this can be done safely, rigorously maintaining the health and hygiene must-do's.

Number of attendees limited by ability to maintain physical distancing between attendees in room or venue and Alert Level 2 requirements. 

Some individuals and whānau may express a preference to hold the FGC in person or attend it remotely. We should respect and where possible give effect to these views.

Follow specific guidance around procedures before, during and after the conference.

Managers must approve that the arrangements for the FGC satisfy health and safety requirements.

Family group conferencing

Holding tamariki and rangatahi related in-person meetings (PDF 203 KB)

Planning tool for holding FGCs and hui safely person to person (PDF 168 KB)

Holding tamariki and rangatahi related in-person meetings (PDF 203 KB)

Meetings such as family group conferences, hui ā-whānau and other meetings to support tamariki can be held in person during Alert Level 2 as long as certain requirements are met. Remotely held meetings or meetings using a combination of in-person and remote attendance may still be appropriate at times.

If holding an FGC in Alert Level 2, also follow guidance for family group conferences (also in this table).

Strict infection prevention and control protocols outlined in the health and hygiene must-do’s must be followed, along with contact tracing steps as per the COVID-19 Alert Level 2 health and safety guide. This guidance and associated checklist will assist in complying with those requirements.

If holding a hui ā-whānau, refer to the guidance on maintaining mana tamaiti, whakapapa and whanaungatanga practice through COVID-19 (PDF 228KB) to ensure tikanga and cultural practices are undertaken appropriately.

Managers must approve that the arrangements for any person-to-person hui held on site addresses the health and safety of all participants.

COVID-19 Alert Level 2 health and safety guide (staff resource) (PDF 679KB)

Planning tool for holding FGCs and hui safely person to person (PDF 168 KB)

Hui ā-whānau

The following information should be considered in addition to our existing guidance:

Hui ā-whānau — existing guidance on the Practice Centre

The impact of the COVID-19 restrictions to date will have had a wide range of impacts for whānau Māori that may affect how willing they are to attend and participate in face-to-face hui. Added to this the kaupapa or purpose for calling hui ā-whānau may cause additional stress and emotions for them at an already challenging time, so it is important that we practise in mana-enhancing ways.  

Whānau participation — Continue to engage and involve as many whānau as possible in ways that fully consider the impacts of COVID-19 on them individually and collectively. Where attendance numbers are limited at the hui ā-whānau you may need to hui with maternal and paternal whānau members seperately to gather their collective thoughts then identify 2 (or limited numbers) of whānau representatives from each to attend in person and allow others to connect via other media. If the kaupapa/purpose for the hui ā-whānau is going to be distressing for whānau members attending, ensure they have someone (who doesn’t have to adhere to physical distancing rules from their bubble) to attend who can console, moderate and offer active support through difficult discussions.  

Increased focus on preparation to support active tamariki and whānau participation — Ensuring that whānau have as much information as possible is critical so they understand the processes and can participate actively with us on issues affecting them.

Planning — It is important that we plan our hui-a-whānau thoroughly given COVID-19 conditions and ensure whānau-led processes for participating through this period are explored, understood, respected and facilitated as much as possible. Be especially clear about the purpose and process of hui a-whanau prior and coach them through it. Providing them with a clear format beforehand (written/email) as working within the constraints of COVID-19 requires them to understand the different ways they can participate. This supports to streamline the hui-a-whānau when it occurs as time needs to be managed effectively when you have people participating in a range of different ways, through technology, in person etc.

Manaakitanga – think about how we maintain active expressions of hospitality and generosity to those we are engaging through actions, behaviours and things such as kai when hosting hui-a-whānau, i.e. have individual sealed kai packs/water for each participant to either eat at the hui or take home afterwards.

Maintaining mana tamaiti, whakapapa and whanaungatanga practice during COVID-19 (PDF 135 KB)

Holding tamariki and rangatahi related in-person meetings (PDF 203 KB)

Planning tool for holding FGCs and hui safely person to person (PDF 168 KB)

COVID-19 Alert Level 2 health and safety guide (staff resource) (PDF 679KB)

Family meetings

We are able to bring family members together to meet in person and should do so once we have carefully considered the preferences and concerns of the family about meeting in person.

Planning and preparation is critical to support participation. Think ahead about how you can practise hospitality and any cultural protocols and practices relevant to the family.

Ensure that you are following the health and hygiene must-do's as they apply to in-person group meetings.

Holding tamariki and rangatahi related in-person meetings (PDF 203 KB)

Planning tool for FGCs and hui (PDF 168 KB)

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