Page URL: https://practice.orangatamariki.govt.nz/policy/escorting-tamariki-and-rangatahi/
Printed: 29/11/2022
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Last updated: 09/11/2022

Escorting tamariki and rangatahi

What we must do when we organise and carry out escorted travel for tamariki and rangatahi when it's needed to ensure the oranga (wellbeing, health, safety and security) of te tamaiti or rangatahi, other tamariki or rangatahi, escort kaimahi or the public.

When this policy applies

Escorted travel (escorting) is required when the environment te tamaiti or rangatahi is in or identified risks mean that escorting is necessary for oranga to be assured during travel.  

This policy always applies when tamariki and rangatahi in our care or custody are:

  • going to or from a youth justice residence (including from Police custody)
  • travelling by air as part of travelling to or from a youth justice residence or a remand home.

This policy also applies when a risk assessment completed for the travel identifies that an escort is necessary when tamariki and rangatahi in our care or custody are going:

  • to or from remand homes
  • to or from community homes
  • from police custody to Oranga Tamariki custody (other than a youth justice residence)
  • to or from care and protection residences
  • to or from a supervised group home.

When escorts are being arranged and carried out, the driver and vehicle policy and guidelines and the travel policy and guidelines also apply:
Staff resource: Driver and vehicle policy (PDF 557 KB)
Staff resource: Driver and vehicle guidelines (PDF 659 KB)
Staff resource: Travel policy (PDF 202 KB)
Staff resource: Travel guidelines (PDF 467 KB)

When the above criteria do not apply and we are travelling with, or arranging travel on behalf of, tamariki or rangatahi we are working with, the travel policy applies.
Policy: Travel

When this policy does not apply

This policy does not apply when others have assumed responsibility for the travel and the oranga of te tamaiti or rangatahi – for example, when:

  • Ara Poutama (Corrections) is responsible for carrying out the escort – for example, when rangatahi are subject to a section 34A Corrections Act status, or when rangatahi are transferring from a youth justice residence to a Corrections facility
  • Police are responsible for carrying out the escort – for example, when tamariki or rangatahi are being returned after having absconded
  • medical staff (for example, paramedics) are taking tamariki or rangatahi to a hospital (Oranga Tamariki kaimahi may accompany te tamaiti or rangatahi if requested)
  • tamariki or rangatahi are leaving a residence to return home or to a place in the community – for example, where it has been arranged that whānau or family will collect them from the residence.

Ensuring the oranga of tamariki and rangatahi

Escorting tamariki or rangatahi may be necessary for the oranga (wellbeing, health, safety and security) of te tamaiti or rangatahi, other tamariki or rangatahi, escort kaimahi or the public.

In all instances, we must ensure that te tamaiti or rangatahi is escorted in a manner that upholds and protects their mana and promotes their oranga.

Unless a risk in sharing all information has been identified in the risk assessment, we must uphold the right of te tamaiti or rangatahi and their whānau or family to be fully informed of the proposed escort, including the destination, as soon as practicable, and any views they have taken into account.

Before informing tamariki or rangatahi and their whānau or family about escorting plans, including the destination, consideration must be given as part of the risk assessment to whether providing this information could endanger escort kaimahi, te tamaiti or rangatahi or others. In these circumstances, some or all of the information may be withheld to ensure the oranga of all involved.

Escort ratios and training requirements

Escorts require a minimum of 2 escort kaimahi who are appropriately trained to escort tamariki and rangatahi and in de-escalation (Safety Interventions Foundation Level – formerly known as MAPA, or STAR for Oranga Tamariki kaimahi, or equivalent training for contractors). Wherever possible, at least 1 escort must be the same gender as te tamaiti or rangatahi.

When a youth justice escort involves air travel to or from a youth justice residence or remand home, at least 1 of the escort kaimahi must be authorised to carry handcuffs and be trained in how to appropriately use them.

Escorting of 2 or more tamariki or rangatahi together must only occur if any identified risks can be safely mitigated. Where 2 or more tamariki or rangatahi are being escorted together, the authorising manager or after-hours National Contact Centre supervisor must approve the ratio of tamariki and rangatahi to escort kaimahi. Factors such as the type of vehicle, levels of risk for each tamaiti or rangatahi and the length of time travelling will be considered as part of the risk assessment for the escort.

When Police are assisting with an escort, at least 1 Oranga Tamariki escort kaimahi who meets the training requirements above must accompany te tamaiti or rangatahi.

Authorising managers may approve an escort with only 1 escort kaimahi for tamariki and rangatahi in care and protection residences or supervised group homes, if the risk assessment shows that this is appropriate.

Choosing escort kaimahi

When choosing escort kaimahi to carry out an escort, we must ensure that kaimahi are not working to the point of tiredness, fatigue or stress that hinders their ability to carry out their escort responsibilities.

Consideration should be given to:

  • total hours worked that week
  • total hours worked that day
  • the expected duration of the escort, including any time spent supervising te tamaiti or rangatahi at the destination
  • whether te tamaiti or rangatahi will be escorted both ways, or only to or from a destination
  • whether accommodation may be needed to break up the journey.

Consideration must also be given to the most appropriate kaimahi to carry out an escort, including:

  • whether kaimahi are appropriately trained to escort and in de-escalation, including Safety Interventions Foundation Level (formerly known as MAPA) or STAR for Oranga Tamariki kaimahi, or equivalent training for contractors, handcuff training for escorts by air to or from a youth justice residence or remand home, and appropriate training for use of secure vans
  • how many kaimahi are required on the escort.

When planning an escort by road, consideration must also be given to the Oranga Tamariki driver and vehicle policy and:

  • how we will ensure escort kaimahi are not driving while tired or fatigued – for example, if escort kaimahi from the destination residence or local site are available to meet halfway to reduce driving time for all kaimahi
  • how many licensed drivers are needed on the escort to ensure driving breaks are possible.

Staff resource: Driver and vehicle policy (PDF 557 KB)

Scheduled escorts

Scheduled escorts are those that have been pre-arranged, whether during working hours or after-hours. This may include:

  • internal transfers between residences
  • transport to and from planned Youth Court hearings
  • transport to and from a family group conference
  • all planned appointments for te tamaiti or rangatahi
  • escorts for section 238(1)(d) remand placements
  • custody placements under section 235.

Unscheduled escorts

Unscheduled escorts are those that have not been pre-arranged, whether during work hours or after-hours. This may include:

  • emergency or unplanned appointments for te tamaiti or rangatahi
  • unexpected court outcomes, such as remand under section 238(1)(d) or custody placements under section 235.

If the relevant risk assessment form cannot be completed before the escort takes place, a risk assessment must still be undertaken and presented verbally to the authorising manager. The escort kaimahi must get the approval of the authorising manager before they leave.

After-hours escorts

After-hours escorts are all escorts that start between 5pm and 8.30am Monday to Friday and during the weekend between 5pm Friday to 8.30am Monday and on public holidays.

If an after-hours escort is unscheduled, the risk assessment must be completed and the escort approved by the National Contact Centre supervisor or youth justice afterhours supervisor as appropriate, who will ensure any relevant information from the Police and CYRAS has been considered.

Site kaimahi appropriately trained to escort and in de-escalation (Safety Interventions Foundation Level, formerly known as MAPA) are responsible for planning and carrying out after-hours escorts.