Updates made to this policy
Additional information has been added about making application to the court for a determination to ensure that a parent meets the section 18B criteria.
Section 18B criteria
Working with Pacific peoples – Va'aifetū
Va'aifetū supports quality practice with Pacific children and helps us to work effectively with children and families of the different Pacific nations.
We should use Va'aifetū alongside existing practice guidance and tools to develop quality assessments for Pacific children. We must evidence this in our records and ensure that we apply the Va'aifetū practice considerations relevant to each child’s Pacific nation of origin.
Purpose of a section 18A assessment
A section 18A assessment has a very specific scope. Its purpose is to assess whether the parent is unlikely to inflict, or allow to be inflicted, on the subsequent child the kind of harm inflicted on a previous tamaiti or rangatahi.
We must recognise the specific trauma that has been experienced by this parent and the whānau or family because of the loss of a previous tamaiti or rangatahi and demonstrate this in our practice.
We must use the Tuituia assessment framework and tools in our section 18A assessment to help ensure we can adequately answer the question of whether the parent is unlikely to inflict, or allow to be inflicted, the same kind of harm that was inflicted on a previous tamaiti or rangatahi.
Relevant information from the Tuituia assessment is to be used in the court application.
The 'subsequent child – section 18A assessment by a social worker' guidance has additional information specifically to support the use of Tuituia for a section 18A assessment.
Child/young person and family consult
At the end of the section 18A assessment, a child/young person and family consult must take place that includes, at a minimum, the social worker, their supervisor, the practice leader, the kairaranga ā-whānau and/or other cultural advisor who has been supporting the assessment and the site solicitor. Consider involving other practitioners or professionals who can bring a new perspective to the consult.
The purpose of the consult is to consider the question of whether the parent is unlikely to inflict, or allow to be inflicted, the kind of the harm the parent inflicted, or allowed to be inflicted, on a previous tamaiti or rangatahi.
The discussion will be informed by the information gathered in the assessment, including the hui ā-whānau or family group meeting, and your analysis.
The consult will assist in determining the type of court application to be made. If there is any disagreement about the application to be made, this should be discussed with the site manager for a final decision.
Outcomes of the court applications
A section 18A application for care or protection order could result in:
- New — care or protection order
- Declined — section 18A application for care or protection order or
- Dismissed — section 18A application for care or protection order.
A section 18C application for confirmation could result in:
- Confirm — section 18C application for confirmation
- Declines to confirm — section 18C application for confirmation. This becomes a section 18A application for a care or protection order
- Dismissed — section 18C application for confirmation.
The section 18A application for a care or protection order currently shows in CYRAS as section 18A App for declaration.
Other care or protection concerns
The court can decline an application for a care or protection order if it is not satisfied that the parent is unlikely to inflict, or allow to be inflicted, on the subsequent child the kind of harm that was inflicted on the previous tamaiti or rangatahi.
We must use the child/young person and family consult to assist with decision-making about what, if any, further action needs to be taken in response to the concerns that led us to making the section 18A application. Any additional involvement with te tamaiti and their whānau or family must follow our usual processes. If no further action is to be taken, the intervention will be closed.
If other care or protection concerns are identified through our section 18A assessment, a report of concern will need to be made and our usual processes followed.