Legislative changes are in effect from 1 July 2019. We are introducing new ways of working with our tamariki, family/whānau and communities and new content is being added to the Practice Centre. Check out our 'What we’re working on' section. We welcome your feedback.

What we're working on

Page URL: https://practice.orangatamariki.govt.nz/our-work/care/transitioning-out-of-care/transition-to-adulthood/
Printed: 17/07/2019
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Last updated: 01/07/2019

Transition to adulthood

We have a responsibility to assist rangatahi who are in, or have left our long-term care or youth justice residential placements from the age of 15, to acquire the knowledge, skills, resources and supports they need to thrive.

Our obligations

From 1 July 2019, the legislative transition to adulthood requirements in the Oranga Tamariki Act 1989 includes:

  • that care-experienced rangatahi can request to remain or return to live with a caregiver between 18 to 21 years
  • the obligation that Oranga Tamariki must remain in contact with eligible rangatahi once they leave care or a longer-term youth justice residential placement if aged 15 to 21 years old.

In addition, the existing advice and assistance obligations have been extended through to the age of 25; and eligibility includes rangatahi with longer youth justice residential placements. Obligations to help rangatahi prepare to leave our care have also been strengthened under part 5 of the National Care Standards.

Preparation, assessment and planning

Under part 5 of the National Care Standards, we have to make sure rangatahi are well supported during their transition from care and/or a youth justice residential placement to adulthood, including undertaking an assessment of life skills.

Policy: Preparation, assessment and planning

Preparing to leave our care

Holding a family group conference to plan for the transition of rangatahi from care to independence

Additional supports for rangatahi

Additional supports are available to eligible rangatahi and outlined in the new transition to adulthood policies and guidance.

Support includes:

  • entitlement to remain or return living with a caregiver
  • maintaining contact with Oranga Tamariki until they’re 21 years old
  • ongoing advice and assistance.

Entitlement to remain or return living with a caregiver

Care-experienced rangatahi are entitled to remain or return to living with a caregiver. This living arrangement is mutually agreed by both the caregiver and rangatahi and covers rangatahi who turn 18 and up to their 21st birthday.

We have obligations to approve the living arrangement and provide a board-top up to the rangatahi if required. This entitlement will be managed by the caregiver recruitment and support team.

Policy: Transition to adulthood — Entitlement to remain or return to live with a caregiver

Remain or return to live with a caregiver

Maintaining contact

Transition workers maintain contact with eligible rangatahi from the age of 15 up until their 21st birthday. This helps to respond to identified transition needs.

Preparing to leave our care

While most of this service will be contracted out to community providers, there may be some instances where a contracted partner can’t be found, such as in a rural area. In this situation appropriately qualified Oranga Tamariki staff may be required to take on the transition worker role.

Policy: Transition to adulthood — Maintaining contact

Maintaining contact

Advice and assistance

We provide ongoing advice and assistance so rangatahi can access the supports they need to become increasingly independent. This entitlement is also available to rangatahi who leave longer-term youth justice residential placements.

Advice and assistance includes both non-financial and financial assistance after existing entitlements have been first considered. This entitlement extends to rangatahi from the age of 15 and until their 25th birthday.

Advice and assistance can come from the dedicated national call centre team, a transition worker, a site office or a youth justice facility/residence.

National call centre phone: 0800 55 89 89

Policy: Transition to adulthood — Advice and assistance

Advice and assistance when transitioning out of care