Permanent Care Support Plan Guidance

Updated: 01 July 2016

Stability of placement is best supported through proactive planning and adequate support for caregivers. Permanent caregivers need effective, responsive, and individualised support which is based on the best interests of mokopuna.

This resource outlines the process for developing permanent care support plans for permanent caregivers and mokopuna before they are discharged from Oranga Tamariki.

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Permanent Care Support Plan

When a caregiver indicates their intention to provide a permanent living arrangement for a mokopuna, the social worker will begin a process to ensure the caregiver and mokopuna have appropriate support in place after they leave Oranga Tamariki.

For those who require it, a permanent care support plan will be developed for caregivers and mokopuna specifying the supports and services they will need for up to the first 12 months after the chief executive’s orders have been discharged.

The permanent care support plan is based on identified needs of the mokopuna to ensure the caregiver is adequately supported to meet those needs. A review date is stipulated and the responsibility to review the plan is assigned to the Permanent Caregiver Support Service social worker.

Duration of plans may vary depending on the nature and extent of support required but no plan will longer than 12 months. Any support required beyond the first 12 months of discharge will be negotiated between the caregiver and the Permanent Caregiver Support Service and administered by the Permanent Caregiver Support Service.

Once the chief executive’s orders have been discharged, the Oranga Tamariki social worker will send a copy of the plan to the Permanent Caregiver Support Service which takes responsibility for resourcing, overseeing and reviewing it.

Leading the planning process

It is the Oranga Tamariki social worker’s responsibility to lead a planning process to develop the permanent care support plan.

This will involve:

  • referring the caregiver and mokopuna to the Permanent Caregiver Support Service
  • engaging with the allocated worker from the Permanent Caregiver Support Service to discuss the case and possible support requirements
  • working with the caregiver to identify support needs and provider preferences
  • organising a planning meeting, or series of meetings, to:
    • discuss post discharge supports or services for the mokopuna and caregiver
    • formulate the permanent care support plan
  • advising all participants of planning meetings/process about the role and function of the Permanent Caregiver Support Service in administering and reviewing the permanent care support plan
  • engaging the appropriate services and providers/individuals of the identified services and support
  • assisting the caregiver to access universal services
  • having the plan approved by site manager and Permanent Caregiver Support Services manager.

Referring to the Permanent Caregiver Support Service

The Oranga Tamariki social worker will notify the Permanent Caregiver Support Service and provide background information about the mokopuna including; name, DOB, age, gender, ethnicity & Iwi. The permanent caregiver’s details and other household members DOB, ethnicity and relationship to mokopuna will also be included.

This information provides the basis for initial discussion between the Permanent Caregiver Support Service and the Oranga Tamariki social worker regarding any on-going supports or services that may be required.

Engagement with Permanent Caregiver Support Service caseworker

The Permanent Caregiver Support Service will allocate a caseworker once it receives the Oranga Tamariki social worker referral for the caregiver and mokopuna. The caseworker will engage with the Oranga Tamariki social worker to discuss the case and possible support requirements. This may include providing information regarding available resources and any associated costs, and agreeing to the caseworker’s level of participation in the planning process.

Identifying and engaging supports

The Oranga Tamariki social worker will ensure all services and/or supports required in the plan are provided and resourced as appropriate. This may include circumstances where support has already commenced but won’t be completed until post discharge (for example the final therapy session/s may occur after the chief executive’s orders have been discharged).

The Oranga Tamariki social worker will need to review existing supports, services and associated costs, and work with the caregiver to understand their provider preferences (eg they may prefer a cultural match with a provider). It is also important to ensure caregivers have access to universal supports and services and these are outlined in the plan.

The permanent care support plan will outline specific objectives detailing who will provide identified services and supports, including those which come from informal sources and/or have no cost attached.

A permanent care support plan will only specify support for identified needs within the timeframe of the plan. It will not include contingency arrangements because permanent caregivers can seek support from the Permanent Caregiver Support Service when a future need arises.

A good test against including contingency arrangements in a plan is to name who is providing the support or service, state when the support or service will be provided within the timeframe of the plan, quantify the level of support or service and specify the cost when a cost is involved. If these details are not specified or determined, the support or service should not be included the plan.

Holding the planning meeting/s

The Oranga Tamariki social worker will organise a meeting, or series of meetings, with the relevant parties to review the current care arrangements and identify any on-going support required for mokopuna and their permanent caregiver.

It is important to involve the right people in the process of developing a permanent care support plan. The Oranga Tamariki social worker is responsible for ensuring people, services and supports included in the plan are part of this process and that the permanent care support plan is formulated and agreed to by all participants.

The planning meetings should include, where appropriate, mokopuna, birth family/whānau, caregivers and their family/whānau, lawyer for child and any community agencies, NGOs or Iwi providers and professionals or specialists involved with, or needing to be involved with, the mokopuna. When it is not appropriate for people to participate in person their views can be presented in other ways eg. in writing or by phone.

The Permanent Caregiver Support Service caseworker is also part of the planning process but may not necessarily attend the meetings. When this is the case, the Oranga Tamariki social worker will provide the caseworker with an outcome of the planning meeting/s.It is important for parties involved in the planning to understand the role of the Permanent Caregiver Support Service in both developing and administrating the care support plan. The planning meetings are the opportunity for the Oranga Tamariki social worker to explain this role to participants unless the caseworker is present to do so.

There should be complete agreement to the care support plan before going to Court to finalise legal arrangements for the permanent living arrangement.

Approving the permanent care support plan

When a permanent care plan has been formulated and agreed to by all participants, the Permanent Caregiver Support Service manager and site manager are responsible for approving the plan and any associated costs.

Site managers need to sign off any aspects of the plan they are responsible for resourcing eg, a service or aspect of the plan in place before discharge. This agreement should be outlined in the support plan.

The Permanent Caregiver Support Service manager needs to approve the content of the plan and associated costs because the Permanent Caregiver Support Service will be responsible for administering and resourcing the plan after discharge.

When a permanent care support plan is not approved

If a plan is not agreed to by the Permanent Caregiver Support Service manager the social worker may:

  1. consult with the Permanent Caregiver Support Service’s allocated caseworker to explore options to resolve disagreement.
  2. reconvene the planning meeting/s to reconsider the plan content. In these circumstances the Permanent Caregiver Support Service’s allocated caseworker’s direct involvement is recommended (this may be by conference call) OR
  3. escalate the matter to their supervisor to lead a case consult to discuss the aspects of the plan which are not agreed.
  4. reconvene the planning meeting/s to reconsider aspects of the plan as a result of the case consult OR
  5. escalate the matter to the site manager to discuss the disputed aspects of the plan directly with the Permanent Caregiver Support Service manager.
  6. If the matter cannot be resolved through the above steps – the matter will be escalated to the National Manager Care and Protection for a final determination.

If the outcome of any of the above results in modifications to the original plan, the changes should be discussed with the caregivers and those who participated in formulating that plan.

Send plan to the Permanent Caregiver Support Service

When the chief executive’s orders have been discharged and/or caregiver orders have been granted, the social worker will send a copy of the permanent care support plan to the Permanent Caregiver Support Service.

The Permanent Caregiver Support Service will send an acknowledgement letter to the permanent caregiver, engage the caregiver and begin to administer the permanent care support plan (including purchasing the services of identified NGO or Iwi providers as stipulated in the plan).