Updated: 19 September 2018
This policy applies to Oranga Tamariki approved caregivers (both family/whānau and non-family/whānau) who are caring for children and young people in the care or custody of the Chief Executive.
As part of the assessment process, the caregiver social worker must talk with the caregiver about their roles and responsibilities, and the nature of the support and entitlements they will receive from Oranga Tamariki.
The social worker must ensure that the caregiver has a good understanding of these.
Upon approval, caregivers must be:
At the time of placement and at regular intervals thereafter, the social worker for te tamaiti will discuss their care needs with the caregiver, and how these needs are going to be financially supported.
The caregiver social worker will liaise with the social worker for te tamaiti to advocate for the caregiver where new needs are identified or the caregiver has raised concerns.
All approved caregivers with tamariki in their care must receive:
If ongoing costs are using a significant portion of the $20.00 small cost payment, consideration must be given to reimbursement of those costs.
Pocket money must never be removed from tamariki as a punishment. If pocket money is to be used for a specific cost, such as payment for damage to property, the caregiver should seek the agreement of the social worker for te tamaiti first.
Where te tamaiti has additional or special needs, they may qualify for the higher foster care allowance.
Caregivers whose property is damaged by tamariki in their care may be compensated for the cost of the damage, if it's not covered by their insurance and meets our requirements.
When a newly approved caregiver joins a recognised caregiver support organisation, their first two years of fees will be paid for by Oranga Tamariki National Office. The caregiver is responsible for payment of any fees after the first two years.
Every caregiver will have a caregiver social worker allocated to them to provide support, including information, advice and assistance, knowledge and guidance, access to training and skills development and respite care.
The caregiver social worker and the social worker for te tamaiti will coordinate their visits to the caregiver and share information from these visits.
It is the caregiver social worker's responsibility to visit the caregiver once a week for the first four weeks of a placement, and then to visit at a minimum of every eight weeks thereafter.
Contact with the caregiver will focus on:
Any issues that are specific to te tamaiti will be case noted and communicated with their social worker.
The social worker for te tamaiti will visit the caregiver as required to ensure their ongoing safety and wellbeing. This visit may occur in conjunction with a visit to te tamaiti or independently. These visits will be communicated to the caregiver social worker and efforts made to ensure a coordinated response to meet tamaiti and caregiver needs.
Contact with the caregiver will focus on:
This visit will be case noted and communicated with the caregiver social worker.
When a caregiver is the subject of an allegation of abuse, they must be supported during the investigation or assessment. The level of support required will be led by the caregiver.
The caregiver will be supported by:
Oranga Tamariki has a contract with Fostering Kids NZ to deliver support, information and advice to caregivers who are the subject of an allegation of abuse, neglect, or harm.
When they are advised of the allegation, caregivers must be provided with written information about the allegation support service offered by Fostering Kids NZ.
We must consider whether the caregiver needs support from someone of their culture, and provide this if possible. A translator must be provided if required.
We must encourage our caregivers to take part in learning and training opportunities, and support them to do so.
Oranga Tamariki caregivers must:
We can offer legal support for caregivers seeking custody or guardianship orders. A separate support package is offered to all our permanent caregivers.
If deemed in the best interests of te tamaiti, Oranga Tamariki will pay the agreed reasonable legal fees incurred by caregivers of tamariki in the custody of the Chief Executive who are:
All permanent caregivers, as defined by the Oranga Tamariki Act 1989 or by policy, have access to a package of support that will extend beyond the discharge of orders against the Chief Executive.
The permanent caregiver support package includes an individualised, needs based support plan for tamariki and caregivers, which will be agreed to before orders against the Chief Executive are discharged. This support is managed by the Permanent Caregiver Support Service under delegation from the Chief Executive.