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Page URL: https://practice.orangatamariki.govt.nz/policy/caregiver-support/
Printed: 18/07/2024
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Last updated: 18/06/2024

Caregiver support

The requirements for providing support to Oranga Tamariki approved caregivers (whānau or family and non-whānau or family).

Updates made to this policy

The rate paid for nappy allowance and the small cost payment have been updated.
Financial support

The rates paid to caregivers for tamariki and rangatahi-related travel have also been updated, and the policy has been updated to clarify that caregivers must have a full driver licence to drive tamariki and rangatahi in the care or custody of the Oranga Tamariki chief executive, and that a restricted licence is not sufficient under law.
Tamariki and rangatahi-related travel

Considering support in the caregiver assessment and approval process

During the assessment process, we must:

  • consider what support and capability building the prospective caregiver and their household might need to help them provide care
  • ensure the prospective caregiver and their household have a good understanding of:
    • their roles and what will be expected of them
    • the support, training and resources that will be available to them (including financial support and respite care).

The caregiver and adoptive applicant assessment and approval policy has more details about information that must be provided to prospective caregivers.

Policy: Caregiver and adoptive applicant assessment and approval

Purpose of providing support to caregivers

We must ensure that caregivers receive support to help them:

  • respond to the needs and advance the wellbeing of te tamaiti or rangatahi
  • promote and support mana tamaiti by supporting the identity and aspirations of te tamaiti or rangatahi
  • support te tamaiti or rangatahi to establish, maintain and strengthen their whakapapa connections
  • recognise and support the practice of whanaungatanga in relation to te tamaiti or rangatahi
  • build their capability to provide care.

A caregiver may also request specific support to help them to provide care.

What is support

Support may include:

  • access to advice and assistance
  • access to cultural support
  • assistance to manage the emotional impact of providing care
  • access to counselling
  • access to training to maintain or develop the caregiver's caregiving capability
  • financial assistance
  • resources, including the caregiver kete
    Caregiver kete (PDF 1.8 MB) | orangatamariki.govt.nz
  • access to respite care
  • access to peer support
  • access to information
  • access to a caregiver social worker who can:
    • help the caregiver understand their role and what is expected of them
    • provide practical, emotional and advocacy support to the caregiver.

When the caregiver social worker is unavailable, access to an alternative support person must be provided.

Caregiver support plans

Caregivers must have a caregiver support plan that:

  • ensures the care arrangement meets the needs of te tamaiti or rangatahi 
  • identifies any support or training that is required by the caregiver.

The caregiver must be given a copy of their caregiver support plan.

All caregiver activity related to support is recorded in CGIS.

When a caregiver support plan must be completed

Wherever possible, the caregiver support plan must be completed at the time of the caregiver's approval.

If there isn't an existing caregiver support plan in place, the caregiver support plan must be completed:

  • as soon as practicable after a decision for te tamaiti or rangatahi to live with the caregiver is made
  • if possible, before te tamaiti or rangatahi moves to live with the caregiver.

Support for culture and identity

We must provide support to enable a caregiver to:

  • promote the identity and culture of te tamaiti or rangatahi
  • enable te tamaiti or rangatahi to attend or participate in cultural events relevant to them
  • understand and respect the personal choices of te tamaiti or rangatahi with respect to their identity and culture, including:
    • the name they wish to be known by
    • their appearance and clothing (as long as it's consistent with their best interests)
    • gender and sexual orientation
    • religious beliefs and practices.

Support for the caregiver must include consideration of the caregiver's own culture and identity and support they require as a result of their caregiving role.

Support for maintaining whānau or family connections

We must provide support to enable a caregiver to:

  • understand why it's important for te tamaiti or rangatahi to establish, maintain and strengthen relationships with their family – including siblings, family, whānau, hapū, iwi and family group
  • understand the arrangements for te tamaiti or rangatahi to establish, maintain and strengthen relationships with their family, whānau, hapū, iwi and family group and how they can support te tamaiti or rangatahi to do this
  • facilitate contact between te tamaiti or rangatahi and their family, whānau, hapū, iwi and family group as agreed in their plan
  • manage safety considerations and challenging behaviour relating to contact across a range of settings, including public events and at marae.

Financial support provided to support whānau or family connections may be provided to te tamaiti or rangatahi, their whānau or family, or the caregiver.

Support for education

We must provide support to enable a caregiver to:

  • understand what they should do to encourage and support the education or training of te tamaiti or rangatahi, including quiet time and space for homework
  • understand barriers to education or training and what they should do to help overcome these
  • support te tamaiti or rangatahi through informal learning and learning at home by providing additional resources.

Financial support for caregivers providing care for rangatahi who have remained in or returned to care

Approved caregivers providing care for rangatahi who have remained in or returned to care aged 18 years and over can charge the rangatahi the equivalent of the weekly caregiver allowance rate for 14+ years (less the pocket money) to cover, room, food and power.

Additional costs of looking after rangatahi with specific needs can be paid through Recognition Payments.

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