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Printed: 12/07/2020
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Last updated: 10/09/2019

Response pathways

Pathways in response to a report of concern include a child and family assessment or investigation, no further action, or a partnered response.

What are the response pathways

Response pathways for a report of concern include:

  • no further action
  • Strengthening Families
  • Children’s Team
  • refer to services/Partnered Response
  • child and family assessment
  • investigation.

No further action (NFA)

If we don’t consider that it’s necessary or desirable to complete an assessment or investigation our response is no further action (NFA). 

An investigation or assessment isn’t necessary or desirable if:

  • there is no substance to the report
  • the information discloses no harm to te tamaiti
  • family/whānau are actively pursuing safety and wellbeing for te tamaiti and are willing and able to respond
  • the matters have already been reported and are being dealt with
  • the information indicates other services are engaged and are meeting the needs of te tamaiti
  • the referrer is able to make appropriate referrals to services for te tamaiti and their family/whānau
  • the Family Violence Inter Agency Response System (FVIARS) have assessed the information and the outcome is no further action by Oranga Tamariki.

If we decide to take no further action

Ensure the referrer:

  • has been given alternative options if possible, such as connecting them to a local iwi or community support provider
  • understands and/or agrees with the rationale for why investigation or assessment is not necessary or desirable.

Ensure that the advice given is recorded.

Refer to services/Partnered Response

This is a voluntary pathway appropriate where support from a local agency is likely to achieve positive outcomes. This pathway is chosen when the concerns can be addressed, or the impact on te tamaiti minimised, with the support of other professionals or services.

Refer to services/Partnered Response is appropriate when:

  • the family/whānau circumstances may be impacting on the wellbeing of te tamaiti but do not present serious danger or harm
  • a level of local expertise and engagement may be needed to initiate or strengthen service provision
  • the family/whānau are willing to engage with or already have a relationship with a service provider
  • there's no current Oranga Tamariki involvement.

Refer to services/Partnered Response can be recommended either before or after a child and family assessment has been completed. If multiple services are required, a collaborative approach, such as Strengthening Families or Children’s Team, may be most appropriate.

Child and family assessment

If it's necessary and desirable, choose this pathway to assess if:

  • te tamaiti has experienced or is experiencing (or is likely to experience) serious harm
  • this is having a significant impact on their development, safety, health and wellbeing
  • there is no indication the source of harm constitutes a criminal offence.

Child and family assessment or investigation


A child and family assessment may be needed to explore 1 or more of the following range of concerns:


Choose this pathway when the concerns meet the criteria as defined in the Child Protection Protocol: Joint Operating Procedures (CPP) and a joint approach between the Police and Oranga Tamariki is required to investigate concerns and establish safety. 

Child protection protocol (CPP)

If te tamaiti witness an offence, such as a murder, while concerning and traumatic, this doesn't meet the CPP and we should consider a child and family assessment. This is because witnessing an offence is not an offence against te tamaiti.An investigation will be required to explore allegations of 1 or more of the following: