Factors to be addressed in the report – section 284(1)
The social worker must address a number of factors when developing and submitting their report to the Youth Court. Section 284 lists these factors.
Additional factors to be addressed in certain circumstances – section 284(1A)
If the Youth Court is considering whether to transfer proceedings to the District or High Court under section 283(o), section 284(1A) lists the additional factors that must be addressed in the social worker report. These are:
- the seriousness of the offending
- the criminal history of the rangatahi
- the interests of the victim
- the risk posed by the rangatahi to other people.
When to write the report
The Youth Court will ask for a social worker report when it is considering whether to make an order after a charge against a tamaiti or rangatahi has been admitted or proven.
Who writes the report and plan
The social worker for te tamaiti or rangatahi writes the report and plan (if required) and provides it to the Youth Court.
The social worker monitors and reviews the plan if:
- the Youth Court agrees to the plan
- Oranga Tamariki has custody of te tamaiti or rangatahi, or a supervisory role.
How to write the report
1 Review the information on CYRAS and from the Youth Court for te tamaiti or rangatahi
- the nature and circumstances of the offence proven to have been committed by te tamaiti or rangatahi
- their involvement in the offence
- their personal history, personal characteristics and social circumstances that may be relevant to the offending and any order that the court may make
- any previous offending proven to have been committed by te tamaiti or rangatahi, and any penalties imposed or orders made in relation to that offending (offences that have been discharged from court under section 282 are not to be included).
Think about the causes underlying the offending and the measures available for addressing those causes so far as it is practicable to do so.
Consult with colleagues within Oranga Tamariki who know te tamaiti. This may include:
- the care and protection social worker, supervisor and/or coordinator
- the transition support worker.
2 Talk to te tamaiti or rangatahi and their family/whānau
Talk to te tamaiti or rangatahi about:
- their attitude about the offence
- the effect on them of any penalties or orders for previous offences that have been proven in court.
Find out how the family/whānau or family group has responded to the offending and to te tamaiti or rangatahi as a result of the offending. Do they have any ides or proposals to inform the report or plan?
Ask if te tamaiti or rangatahi and their family/whānau have made reparation or apologised to any victim of the offending, or plan to do this. Is there an opportunity to explore restorative justice as a component of the report and plan?
3 Talk to the victim
Find out how the offending has affected any victim. Does the victim have any views or expectations about how the offending affected or is still affecting them?
Consider if there is a need for reparation to be made to the victim.
4 Review the outcomes of the family group conference
Check any decisions, recommendations or plan of the family group conference.
5 Completing the report and plan
The social worker must use the section 334 report and section 335 plan templates on CYRAS.
The templates contain guidance about what information needs to be included in the report or plan.
The report and plan need to:
- identify the reasons supporting the recommended outcome
- include social work analysis and relevant excerpts of any practice work tools or general research that has been relied on to form the views in the report or plan.
The plan must contain:
- clear objectives
- clear indications of how objectives will be met (or have been met in regard to Effectiveness Reports)
- who will be responsible for defined actions
- the timeframes within which they will be achieved.
We need to keep in mind that mana tamaiti, whakapapa and whanaungatanga are all connected and essential elements for the overall oranga of tamariki and rangatahi, family/whānau, hapū and iwi.