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Page URL: https://practice.orangatamariki.govt.nz/our-work/care/caregivers/assessing-and-approving-caregivers-and-adoptive-parents/giving-provisional-approval/
Printed: 22/10/2021
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Last updated: 04/11/2020

Giving provisional approval

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

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 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 whānau or family 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 whānau or family, 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 whānau or family dynamics and keep the safety of te tamaiti at the forefront, such as contact visits, if there are orders in place preventing contact
  • the whānau or family member's motivation and commitment to provide care
  • emotions such as guilt and obligation which may be associated with providing care to a whānau or family member.

What we need to do

Relevant suitability checks (including CYRAS checks and Police vetting) are required before provisional approval is granted.

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

Policy: Caregiver and adoptive applicant assessment and approval

We give a provisional approval letter 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.

We develop a support plan for the provisional caregiver within 5 days, and provide the All About Me plan for te tamaiti.

Caregiver support plan

All About Me plan to meet the needs of tamariki

Until a full caregiver assessment is completed, we closely monitor the care arrangement — 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.