What is a recognition payment
A recognition payment meets the identified extra needs of rangatahi that can’t be met through their base income or other core financial services available to rangatahi and their transition caregiver.
The recognition payment is linked to rangatahi who sign a Living Arrangement Agreement to live with a transition caregiver.
The recognition payment is paid directly to the transition caregiver, not the rangatahi.
Who applies for a recognition payment
If rangatahi is still in care and chooses to remain living with a transition caregiver when they turn 18, then their social worker fills in the recognition payment submission form.
If rangatahi has left care and wants to return to living with a transition caregiver (up until they turn 21), then the caregiver social worker should fill in the submission. A transition worker can also fill in a submission, if a caregiver social worker is not immediately available.
When to apply for a recognition payment
If rangatahi remain living with a transition caregiver, the need to consider a recognition payment occurs as part of the preparation, assessment and planning before they leave care.
We should discuss any additional support required by the transition caregiver with our supervisor before rangatahi leave care and the caregiver's social worker and include them in formulating the transition planning material in the All About Me plan.
If rangatahi want to return to live with a transition caregiver, then the assessment of need occurs as part of the decision-making process when identifying a proposed transition caregiver.
How we apply for a recognition payment
If we believe a recognition payment to the caregiver is required due to the special or additional needs of rangatahi, we need to assess the circumstances of the caregiver and rangatahi and make a submission to a care manager in the Caregiver Recruitment and Support Team.
1 Assess needs of rangatahi
We use the same decision-making process that is used to assess additional costs that justify a higher fostercare allowance (HFCA) for tamariki and rangatahi in care.
The recognition payment costs are to meet the identified extra needs of rangatahi that cannot be met through their base income or other core financial services available to the rangatahi and their caregiver.
We should discuss the needs of rangatahi with the proposed transition caregiver so we better understand what is needed to support rangatahi and how the transition caregiver might see themselves doing that.
2 Assess skills and ability of transition caregiver
Before confirming a Living Arrangement Agreement, there needs to be a conversation between the proposed caregiver’s social worker, the social worker for rangatahi and/or the transition worker. It is primarily the responsibility of the caregiver social worker to ensure this conversation occurs.
The caregiver social worker (and a social worker or transition worker if allocated) can work together to assess the skills and ability of the transition caregiver to support the additional needs of rangatahi. The wishes of the rangatahi must be recorded in the All About Me plan. This is important because a poor fit between rangatahi and the caregiver may result in rangatahi being unable to successfully become independent. Ultimately it is up to the Caregiver Recruitment and Support Team to suggest suitable transition caregiver options.
What are extra or special needs?
We know that rangatahi who leave the care of the chief executive may have significant challenges in their social, emotional, physical, intellectual or educational development. Others may have a disability, require a special diet or behave in ways that require more support on behalf of their caregivers than might be expected under more usual circumstances. In these kinds of situations the lives of rangatahi are more complex than for most rangatahi and may require more support.
Some examples of situations where additional support may be required include rangatahi who:
- are extremely withdrawn, challenging or present with distressing behaviours, or at risk of self-harming or sexually abusing others, requiring more intensive supervision or mentoring
- have physical or medical conditions which require extra care such as home nursing, preparing special diets or extra tasks that cannot be provided for from core or specialist public health services
- are part of a large sibling group placed with the transition caregiver with complex family/whānau issues which creates a need for the transition caregiver to spend considerable effort and adjustment to meet the needs of rangatahi
- are receiving extraordinary support from their transition caregiver to assist with their transition to independent living.
What might this extra support look like?
At times these difficulties mean that the transition caregiver is required to provide extra or special support of a level higher than is normally expected. This support might include:
- taking rangatahi to frequent appointments for assessment or treatment
- providing support when rangatahi is medically vulnerable or in danger of harming themselves or others
- working closely with professionals and family/whānau, amid complexity, to meet the safety and therapeutic needs of rangatahi
- having someone else to assist with housework if a large sibling group is placed with the transition caregiver
- carrying out extra tasks related to significant development delays for rangatahi.
Before rangatahi leave care it is important to discuss the needs of rangatahi with the proposed transition caregiver in order to better understand what is needed to support rangatahi and how the transition caregiver might see themselves doing that. These needs must be documented in the All About Me plan.
We should discuss any additional support required by the transition caregiver with our supervisor before rangatahi leave care, if appropriate.
The caregiver social worker, rangatahi social worker, transition worker and supervisor should all be included in formulating the transition planning material in the All About Me plan.
3 Confirm Living Arrangement Agreement
We need to confirm there is a Living Arrangement Agreement between the caregiver and rangatahi. A recognition payment can only be provided to an approved caregiver with whom rangatahi has entered into a Living Arrangement Agreement.
4 Determine the appropriate level of recognition payment
Where there is no recent HFCA rate to refer to, or it is no longer considered to be set at an appropriate level, we work through the extra services and associated costs needed to support the living arrangement. Some of these costs might be able to be sourced by the rangatahi from other agencies. An appropriate level of recognition payment will be based on the residual amount still required to reasonably support the needs of the rangatahi in the living arrangement.
Filling in the recognition payment submission template will help us identify an appropriate recognition payment level for the transition caregiver.
Any existing payments being made to rangatahi that cover additional needs must not be duplicated in the recognition payment. Work and Income can pay up to a maximum of $64.29 a week for a Disability Allowance and other agencies (such as Disability Support Services or district health boards) may cover some disability-related costs.
How much the transition caregiver can get depends on first determining the extra disability-related costs from Work and Income or other agencies can pay the rangatahi. The Disability Allowance is usually paid fortnightly into the bank account of the rangatahi alongside any benefits or other allowances (this would be paid weekly if the rangatahi is not getting any financial assistance from Work and Income).
Some of the extra costs Work and Income may be able to help with...
Work and Income will need to see …
Doctor's, specialist's and hospital fees that aren't already subsidised
Receipts or invoices showing the date, cost and reason for the visit.
Receipts or print-outs from a chemist showing the date, cost, the item received and whether it's subsidised.
Travel to the doctor, specialist, hospital or counsellor
Tickets or receipts showing the date, cost and how the person travelled (if they travelled in their own car, we need to know the cc rating of their car and how far they travelled).
Summer and winter electricity bills.
Medical alarm rental and monitoring
The Disability Allowance — Medical Assessment for Medical Alarm form completed by a health practitioner, and the contract or receipt for the installation/rental of the medical alarm.
Work and Income regularly review the Disability Allowance. They will ask to see proof of any costs that have increased or are new. We need to be clear that the recognition payment does not cover any costs already being subsidised by the Disability Allowance provided by Work and Income.
5 Write recognition payment submission
An submission to the Caregiver Recruitment and Support Manager for a recognition payment must explain why rangatahi and their transition caregiver need this extra funding and support, and how it will be used to enhance and sustain the living arrangement and meet the transition needs of rangatahi.
The submission lists the:
- estimated weekly income of rangatahi (made from benefits and income derived from work)
- weekly board payment paid by rangatahi to the transition caregiver (as listed in the Living Arrangement Agreement)
- any board top-up paid by Oranga Tamariki to rangatahi or the transition caregiver (as listed in the Living Arrangement Agreement)
- any Work and Income allowances being paid to rangatahi that respond to identified special needs and what these costs cover
- any previous HFCA amount for a defined period when rangatahi was still in care (if relevant).
The recognition payment can only be paid directly to the transition caregiver.
The submission describes:
- rangatahi behaviours and needs
- any diagnoses
- the extra requirements on the transition caregiver and how they are expected to meet these needs.
The submission also:
- specifies any costs associated with meeting rangatahi needs, for example, special food, equipment or extra travel costs associated with visits for assessment and treatment with rangatahi
- outlines why these needs can’t be met through core or specialist public health or other services.
6 Get management approval
Applications for a recognition payment can only be approved by a care manager in the Caregiver Recruitment and Support Team.
If the care manager in the Caregiver Recruitment and Support wants any changes in the report (such as a shorter review time or a smaller dollar amount) they contact the caregiver social worker with a CYRAS reminder requesting further work on the report. The altered report will then be re-submitted for approval by the care manager.
7 Advising transition caregivers of submission outcome
When approval is given, the Caregvier Recruitment and Support Team must advise the transition caregiver in writing of the details of the payment, including the:
- review date
- when the payment will start.
We must record our reasons for the payment amount on CYRAS for the recognition payment.
We must also advise the transition caregiver if the submission has been declined. This must also be recorded on CYRAS. In addition, the Recognition Payment Submission must be loaded on CYRAS.
8 Review recognition payment
We must review recognition payments at least once every 6 months. If the recognition payment is needed for a shorter period, we should set an earlier review date.
We should include the transition caregiver in the recognition payment review and advise them in writing of any subsequent changes to the payment or if the payment is withdrawn. (If a recognition payment is withdrawn, this must be approved by a care manager in the Caregiver Recruitment and Support Team.)
We record the reasons for any changes to the amount paid on CYRAS.