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Page URL: https://practice.orangatamariki.govt.nz/our-work/transitioning-to-adulthood/transition-to-independence/transition-to-adulthood/
Printed: 19/05/2024
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Last updated: 10/12/2019

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.

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

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.

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.

Supporting children and young persons during care transitions ― part 5 of the National Care Standards

Preparation, assessment and planning

We have to make sure rangatahi are well supported during their transition from care or a youth justice residential placement to adulthood, including undertaking an assessment of life skills.

Policy: Transition to adulthood — Preparation, assessment and planning

Preparing to leave our care

Planning with rangatahi for their transition from care to adulthood

Additional supports for rangatahi

Eligible rangatahi also have a right to:

  • remain or return to live with a caregiver until they turn 21
  • maintain contact with Oranga Tamariki until they turn 21
  • ask Oranga Tamariki for ongoing advice and assistance until they turn 25.

Remain or return to live with a caregiver

Care-experienced rangatahi are entitled to remain or return to living with an approved caregiver. This living arrangement must be mutually agreed by both the caregiver and rangatahi.

We have obligations to approve the living arrangement and provide a board top-up to the rangatahi if required. This entitlement is 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

Maintain contact

Transition workers maintain contact with eligible rangatahi. 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.

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

National call centre phone: 0800 55 89 89

Policy: Transition to adulthood — Advice and assistance

Advice and assistance when transitioning out of care