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Page URL: https://practice.orangatamariki.govt.nz/policy/allegations-of-harm-towards-rangatahi-aged-18-and-above-by-transition-caregivers/
Printed: 08/12/2021
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Last updated: 27/10/2021

Allegations of harm towards rangatahi aged 18 and above by transition caregivers

When there is an allegation of harm (abuse or neglect), we work closely with rangatahi aged 18 and over, transition caregivers and the Police to share information and provide support and advice to rangatahi and transition caregivers.

Upcoming changes for this policy

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 policy. The following resources provide support:
Practice for working effectively with Māori
Our practice shift

When this policy applies

This policy applies when an allegation of harm of a rangatahi has been made against an Oranga Tamariki approved caregiver who is caring for a rangatahi aged from 18 to 21 years.

Policy: Transition to adulthood – Entitlement to remain ore return to live with a caregiver

As rangatahi in this group are aged 18 years and above, a report of concern cannot be created. This means it is the responsibility of the Police to investigate any alleged harm.

When this policy doesn't apply

This policy doesn't apply to:

  • allegations of harm (including abuse and neglect) of tamariki and rangatahi under 18 years of age in the care or custody of the Oranga Tamariki chief executive (including Sole Guardianship orders) who also live with the transition caregiver
  • rangatahi aged 18 and above who at the time of the allegation are living with a transition caregiver but not under a Living Arrangement Agreement.

Policy: Allegations of abuse, neglect or harm of tamariki by caregivers

Policy: Transition to adulthood – Advice and assistance

Placing the rangatahi at the centre of any process where there is an allegation of harm

We must ensure that the rangatahi is at the centre of any decisions that affect them. This includes:

  • ensuring that they can identify whom they want to provide support, including whānau or family and other significant adults in their lives
  • explaining the implications of any decisions they make to proceed or not proceed with any complaints to the Police
  • explaining the support that is available to them from transition workers and the Transition Support Service.
    Phone: 0800 55 89 89

Sharing information when the matter has been referred to the Police

We must share information with the Police if we have any concerns about the wellbeing of the rangatahi or other members of the household as a result of any allegation of harm by the caregiver.

The Police will decide if an investigation will occur and if charges will be laid.

Advising the transition caregiver

When an allegation is made against a transition caregiver, the Caregiver Recruitment and Support manager must advise the transition caregiver. If the matter has been referred to the Police, we must consult with the Police about when the transition caregiver can be told (so it doesn’t interfere with any criminal investigation).

When this conversation occurs, the transition caregiver must be informed that their caregiver approval status will be reviewed.

Other parties we must advise

We must advise the following staff and Transition to Adulthood partner organisations of the allegation as soon as it is received:

  • General Manager, Transition Services
  • regional Partnering for Outcomes manager (if the rangatahi has a transition worker)
  • manager of the Care Partner organisation (if the rangatahi is living with a Care Partner)
  • NGO Transition to Adulthood partner organisation (if the rangatahi has a transition worker)
  • local site manager if the rangatahi is under other orders (for example, Sole/Extended Guardianship, Supervision Order).

Subject to the agreement by the rangatahi, we should also advise their whānau or family of the allegation of harm that has occurred. This may include supporting the rangatahi if they want to talk to their whānau or family about the allegation of harm.

Review of caregiver approval status

Following an allegation of harm towards a rangatahi by a transition caregiver and/or any Police investigation into the allegation, we must review the caregiver approval status. As Oranga Tamariki will not undertake a section 17 investigation, there will be no investigation outcome report.

The purpose of the caregiver approval review is to assess the transition caregiver’s ongoing willingness and suitability for:

  • rangatahi who wish to remain or return to live with the transition caregiver
  • other tamariki to be cared for in the care or custody of the Oranga Tamariki chief executive.

The review of caregiver approval policy outlines the collecting, consulting, reporting and recording requirements when a review of caregiver approval status is underway.

Policy: Review of caregiver approval