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COVID-19: implications for our practice

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Printed: 22/09/2020
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Last updated: 01/07/2019

Giving provisional approval

Provisional approval of caregivers requires careful consideration and should only be used in urgent circumstances.

When provisional approval applies

In urgent situations, when:

  • emergency action is being taken
  • it's unsafe, or te tamaiti is unable to continue living where they are
  • an identified family/whānau member, or someone known to te tamaiti, is able to provide immediate and safe care.

Who we give provisional approval to

Priority should be given to family/whānau, or a person known to te tamaiti, where there’s a current and established relationship with te tamaiti. Consider discussing with them:

  • their understanding of the experience and needs of te tamaiti
  • their capacity to care for te tamaiti and meet these needs
  • how they would manage family/whānau dynamics and keep the safety of te tamaiti at the forefront, such as contact visits, if there are orders in place preventing contact
  • the family/whānau member's motivation and commitment to provide care
  • emotions such as guilt and obligation which may be associated with providing care to a family/whānau member.

What we need to do

Suitability checks are required before provisional approval is granted.

The supervisor, in discussion with the social worker, must provide a rationale casenote on CYRAS that they support the decision to provisionally approve the caregiver.

If a prospective provisional caregiver lives in a different area — Policy: Caregiver and adoptive applicant assessment and approval

A provisional approval letter must be given to the person who is provisionally approved clearly stating that their approval status will be valid for 25 working days and that, at the end of this approval period, a full caregiver assessment will need to have been completed.
Provisional approval does not guarantee full approval status once the caregiver assessment has been completed. It is important that we explain this to the caregiver applicant so they understand this.

A support plan must be developed for the provisional caregiver within 5 days, and the All About Me plan for te tamaiti must be provided.

Caregiver support plan

All About Me plan to meet the needs of tamariki

Until a full caregiver assessment is completed, the placement must be closely monitored — at a minimum on a weekly basis to ensure support is provided and stability and safety is maintained for te tamaiti.

When provisional approval does not apply

Provisional approval of caregivers should not apply where:

  • the placement is planned, such as there is an agreed timeframe for the length of the placement or there is a transition plan in place
  • the placement is for respite purposes, such as for school holidays or weekends
  • this is the intended permanent care arrangement.