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Page URL: https://practice.orangatamariki.govt.nz/policy/safe-sleep/
Printed: 01/08/2021
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Last updated: 29/07/2021

Safe sleep

All tamariki under 2 years of age who are in the care or custody of the chief executive must sleep in a safe, age-appropriate bed at all times.

Who this policy applies to

This policy applies to all tamariki under 2 years of age who are in the care or custody of the chief executive, including those living with care partners.

What is safe sleep

Safe sleep includes making sure that any pēpi under 2 is in their own bed for every sleep and making sure that the pēpi is on their back for every sleep with nothing covering their face. Wahakura and pēpi-pods® are also options for providing a safe sleep surface for pēpi.

Guidance: Safe sleeping

The Ministry of Health has some helpful guidance about safe sleeping practice for keeping pēpi safe at differing ages.

Safe sleep | Ministry of Health

Assessment and approval of prospective caregivers

We must assess the willingness and capacity of prospective caregivers to provide a safe sleep environment at the time of assessment.

If we know that a caregiver will have tamariki under 2 years of age living in their care, the assessment must include:

  • SUDI (Sudden Unexplained Death in Infancy) prevention information
  • beds and bedding checks
  • an assessment of how the prospective caregiver will comply with safe sleeping advice and recommended actions to reduce SUDI.

This assessment of the safe sleep living arrangements must be recorded in CYRAS.

Assessing the home environment of applicants

Tamariki living with caregivers

The safe sleep environment must be assessed and discussed when te tamaiti is placed with a caregiver.

Policy: Caring for children and young people

The social worker placing te tamaiti must assess and ensure that the caregiver has a safe age-appropriate bed for te tamaiti at the time of placement – this includes that the caregiver has an understanding of SUDI and what they need to do to reduce the risk when staying away from their usual home. The assessment of safe sleep living arrangements at the time of placement must be recorded in CYRAS.

If the caregiver does not have a safe age-appropriate bed for te tamaiti, Oranga Tamariki must support them to provide this.

Caregiver support plan

When the caregiver support plan is reviewed, we must consider how we can support the caregiver to create and maintain a safe sleeping environment. This must be documented in the caregiver support plan. This should be reflected in the All About Me plan for te tamaiti.

Policy: Caregiver support