We’re updating and improving this website. It will be down for 2 months between 1 April and 4 June to make the changes. If you need practice information during this time, save it to your computer before 1 April. For advice and support email: practice_centre@ot.govt.nz

Note: if you are Oranga Tamariki staff you will still have access throughout this period.

Assessment and decision making policy — Key information

Updated: 24 February 2017

What's Important To Us

Assessment is central to all social work activity. It is the process of understanding the risks, challenges and achievements for mokopuna [1] and family/whānau we work with. Assessment is not an isolated event but a continual process of noticing, making sense of and responding to change and progress.

Assessment provides us with a roadmap for change. It helps us work with mokopuna, their families/whānau and other professionals involved in their lives. It informs quality decision making and planning for mokopuna, provides the focus for our interventions and keeps everyone on track.

We work in culturally responsive ways, seeking family/whānau-led solutions and collaborating with other agencies and professionals to improve outcomes for mokopuna. At all times mokopuna are at the centre of our work; they have the right to participate and express their views about actions or decisions that significantly affect them, and to have their views taken into account.

[1] Mokopuna describes descendent rather than being translated as a grandchild and does not denote gender or age. Mokopuna can be defined as “a reflection of one’s ancestors”, emphasising descent lines. Mokopuna in the context of the core business for Oranga Tamariki is about children and young people

Assessing Kaitiaki Mokopuna

Assessing safety and wellbeing when parents or caregivers have lost the care of other mokopuna

Building safety around children and young people

"But I was only looking ..." - Managing situations where adults are accessing, exchanging, collecting and/or producing child pornography

Cumulative harm

Female Genital Mutilation

Focusing on attachment and stability

"Home alone" and the supervision of children and young people

Keeping our focus on mokopuna

Legal provisions for medical examinations


Multi-agency safety planning

Responding to complex needs

Righting the wrong: Information on working with victims

Specialist child interviewing

Strengthening our response to unborn babies

Subsequent children - s18B assessment by a social worker

Suicide risk factors

The education screen

The smacking issue

The youth justice pre-family group conference case consultation

Undertaking a care and protection assessment

Using the Substance Abuse and Choices Scale (SACS) and suicide screening/assessment tools

Violence in Families: Assessment and planning responses

What did we find? Recording findings in child and family assessments and investigations

When suicide risk is identified

Working safely with families/whanau where children and young people are in contact with an adult who has sexually abused

Working safely with families/whanau where children are displaying concerning sexual behaviour

Working safely with young people who display harmful sexual behaviour

Working with professionals

Working with the Care and Protection Resource Panel