When an allegation is received against a section 396 caregiver
When an allegation of abuse, neglect or harm of tamariki is made against a section 396 caregiver, we follow the same process we follow for any allegation — but we also need to consult with:
- staff from the section 396 provider.
- Oranga Tamariki management.
Complaints against section 396 caregivers
Complaints against section 396 caregivers are managed by the provider.
The role of Oranga Tamariki
We are responsible for leading our investigation or assessment and deciding on the outcome.
- follow the same process as for any allegation of abuse, neglect or harm of tamariki by a caregiver
- inform the section 396 provider about the allegation before we contact the caregiver
- tell the caregiver that the section 396 provider has been informed of the allegation and will receive a copy of the draft and final outcome reports
- inform the section 396 provider of the support available from Fostering Kids NZ
- may request the provider to assist in the investigation or assessment, or to act as an advisor.
It's the social worker's decision how much information about the investigation or assessment to disclose to the section 396 provider — if they're uncertain, they should seek legal advice.
Information we provide to the section 396 provider
The section 396 provider is responsible for approving its own caregivers.
To assist the provider to decide whether to continue its approval of the caregiver, Oranga Tamariki will provide them with:
- the nature of the allegation against the caregiver
- any decision to conduct an investigation or assessment, details about the process and the outcome
- whether there has been or will be a referral to the Police
- whether te tamaiti has been or will be removed
- that Oranga Tamariki will not place any further tamariki with this caregiver during the investigation or assessment.
The role of the section 396 provider
It's the section 396 provider's responsibility to provide support to its caregiver.
The provider must:
- have a caregiver engagement and approval policy and process with standards that meet the Oranga Tamariki service specifications for care service agreements
- cooperate with the Oranga Tamariki investigation or assessment — this includes supporting the caregiver, suspending the caregiver if necessary, assisting in ensuring the safety of tamariki, and providing information as required
- have a policy and process on managing and supporting caregivers following a report of concern being investigated or assessed by Oranga Tamariki
- have a section 15 management policy and process for caregiver review following a report of concern made against caregivers for children and young people placed with the Provider
- carry out their own caregiver review process at the end of the Oranga Tamariki investigation or assessment
- provide a copy of their review report to their local Service Accreditation Assessor.
Advising other Oranga Tamariki staff
When an allegation against a caregiver from a section 396 provider is received, we advise:
- the practice leader
- the site manager
- regional Social Services Accreditation Assessor
- regional Partnering for Outcomes manager
- Operations Manager, Social Services Accreditation
They are also advised of:
- the outcome of the investigation or assessment
- the name of the caregiver and section 396 organisation
- any other relevant information.
The outcome of the investigation or assessment is recorded on the CYRAS records of te tamaiti.