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COVID-19: implications for our practice

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Printed: 25/10/2021
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Last updated: 30/09/2021

Case recording

Case recording helps us understand and tell the story of those we work with, including tamariki, rangatahi and their whānau or family. It also helps us understand our engagement with wider networks including hapū and iwi during a case.

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

About case recording

Case recording supports good practice and contributes to quality assurance and accountability.

CYRAS is the online case recording system used by Oranga Tamariki.

Kaimahi have a legal requirement to maintain full and accurate records. People whose information is recorded in case records have the right to ask for access to information about themselves.

When this policy applies

This policy applies to:

  • case recording for all tamariki and rangatahi we work with, and their family, whānau, hapū and iwi
  • case recording across all stages of our work, from intake to case closure
  • all kaimahi who record information on CYRAS, including:
    • administrators
    • care and protection, youth justice and adoption social workers
    • caregiver social workers
    • care and protection and youth justice coordinators
    • contact centre staff
    • practice leaders
    • supervisors
    • residence staff
    • youth workers
    • other specialist staff (for example, psychologists).

Recording gender

We must be respectful when we record gender identity for tamariki, rangatahi and others. Gender identity is self-defined. It is a person’s internal, deeply felt sense of being male, female, gender queer, trans, non-binary, gender fluid or other.

We must record the gender someone identifies with in the person record. CYRAS fields allow male, female, or gender diverse to be recorded. If appropriate, other notes about gender can be added to CYRAS.

We must be open to change the gender recording if participants express a wish to be known differently.

Gender and sexual identity – Identity and culture Tuituia domain


A genogram must be created for each tamaiti or rangatahi when a family group conference is required. It describes the composition of the whānau or family, and key relationships for up to 3 generations. The genogram must be recorded in CYRAS.

Other more detailed whakapapa information for tamariki and rangatahi Māori must not be recorded in CYRAS. It is sensitive information that belongs to whānau.

Whakapapa research

Information sharing and the principles of mana tamaiti, whakapapa and whanaungatanga

Kairaranga ā whānau

Staff resource: Creating genograms in CYRAS – myLearn

Recording information sharing

We must record in CYRAS all information sharing activities relating to te tamaiti or rangatahi and their whānau or family.

Policy: Sharing information – recording information sharing

Guidance: Recording information sharing

Correction of information

Information stored by Oranga Tamariki must be accurate. When it comes to our attention that information stored is inaccurate, we must verify it and then correct it. Using unverified information, or not correcting incorrect information, breaches the privacy of the person it is about.

Staff resource: Operational support template for CYRAS correction requests

People can request that information about them in CYRAS be corrected. If we decline or are unable to make a correction, we have an obligation under the Privacy Act 2020 to offer to attach a Statement of Correction to the record. This allows the complainant to present their view alongside our records.

Privacy Commissioner: What is a statement of correction?