Auckland and parts of Waikato are at Alert Level 3. The rest of New Zealand is at Alert Level 2. Please read the guidance.

COVID-19: implications for our practice

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Printed: 29/10/2021
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Last updated: 14/05/2020

Ongoing impacts of COVID-19 on people we're working with

Tamariki, whānau and caregivers may continue to deal with the impact of social isolation, and ongoing anxieties about COVID-19, for some time in a number of ways.

What we can expect to see in our day-to-day casework

We recognise that the period of social isolation under previous alert levels, and ongoing concerns and anxieties about COVID-19, may have had an impact that tamariki, whānau and caregivers may continue to deal with for some time in a number of ways.

For example:

  • Whānau may be impacted by a loss of or reduced income, which may be a new experience for some.
  • There may be pressure on relationships, increased family harm and an increase in aggressive or emotional reactions.
  • There may be changes in the behaviours of tamariki and rangatahi due to having to readjust to further changes in their living, social and learning environments.
  • There may be an increased prevalence of people feeling fearful, uncertain abut the future and at greater risk of suicide or self-harm.
  • There may be ongoing anxiety and protectiveness of the health of household or whānau members, particularly the elderly or those otherwise medically fragile. This may result in people being reluctant to engage in public places or allow visitors in the home even if this is allowed.
  • People may not understand or may disregard the need to continue to act in ways that reduce the risk of transmission of COVID-19.
  • Whānau may have lost loved ones and, due to previous alert level restrictions, been unable to grieve through their usual customs and practices, which has compounded their experience of loss.
  • Whānau may need assistance to understand and make sense of the current enviornment, including the need for information, support and advocacy in decisions such as health care and school.
  • There may be occasions where tamariki or rangatahi, or their close contacts, demonstrate symptoms or may be considered to be suspected to have COVID-19.

These considerations should inform where, how and why we engage during Alert Level 2. This includes building consideration of them into our assessment and planning practice.