Upcoming changes for this guidance
This content will be strengthened so it more completely reflects our commitment to practice framed by te Tiriti o Waitangi, based on a mana-enhancing paradigm for practice, and drawing from Te Ao Māori principles of oranga to support mana tamaiti, whakapapa and whanaungatanga. We each need to consider how we can apply these principles to our practice when reading this guidance. The following resources provide support:
Practice for working effectively with Māori
Our practice shift
When an allegation is received against a section 396 caregiver
When an allegation of abuse, neglect or harm of tamariki or rangatahi 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 assessment or investigation and deciding on the outcome.
We follow the same process as for any allegation of abuse, neglect or harm of tamariki or rangatahi in care.
- 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 Caring Families Aotearoa
- may request the provider to assist in the assessment or investigation, or to act as an advisor.
It's best practice for Oranga Tamariki and the section 396 provider to work closely together to complete the assessment or investigation. However, it's the social worker's decision how much information about the assessment or investigation to disclose to the section 396 provider — if they're uncertain, they should seek legal advice.
The outcome of the assessment or investigation is recorded on the CYRAS records of te tamaiti or rangatahi.
Advising other Oranga Tamariki staff and Ministry of Social Development staff
When an allegation against a caregiver from a section 396 provider is received, we advise the:
- practice leader
- site manager
- regional Partnering for Outcomes manager
- regional Social Services Accreditation Assessor
- Accreditation Manager, Social Services Accreditation
- National Manager, Social Services Accreditation.
They are also advised of:
- the outcome of the assessment or investigation
- the name of the caregiver and section 396 organisation
- any other relevant information.
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 assessment or investigation, details about the process and the outcome
- whether there has been or will be a referral to the Police
- whether te tamaiti or rangatahi has been or will be transitioned.
We will advise the section 396 provider that we will not place any further tamariki or rangatahi with this caregiver during the assessment or investigation.
If the section 396 provider agrees to assist in the assessment or investigation
We will advise the provider that:
- any information gathered will be available in full to Oranga Tamariki
- disclosure of any information about the allegation, assessment or investigation to other people (including the caregiver) can only occur with the prior agreement of Oranga Tamariki
- people allocated to support te tamaiti or rangatahi or the caregiver should not assist 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:
- cooperate with the Oranga Tamariki assessment or investigation — this includes supporting the caregiver, suspending the caregiver if necessary, assisting in ensuring the safety of tamariki and rangatahi, and providing information as required
- have a policy and process on managing and supporting caregivers following a report of concern being assessed or investigated by Oranga Tamariki
- have a section 15 management policy and process for caregiver review following a report of concern made against caregivers for tamariki and rangatahi placed with the provider
- carry out their own caregiver review process at the end of the Oranga Tamariki assessment or investigation
- provide a copy of their review report to their local Service Accreditation Assessor and the investigating social worker.