Updated: 01 April 2017
Mokopuna who leave our care need our support to achieve the same positive outcomes as other young adults. When mokopuna of or over the age of 15 years leave care, we must have assisted them to acquire the knowledge, skills, resources and supports necessary to successfully manage the transition into adulthood. This means we:
This policy outlines what you must do to help mokopuna who are preparing to transition from care. It includes planning, financial help, building support networks and living independently.
We must explore all avenues of support available to the mokopuna and connect them to existing services before they leave care.
Note: Mokopuna are entitled to a support person if they need help expressing their views or being understood. The support person can be present at any meeting that includes the mokopuna.
15 to 18 year-old mokopuna in care must have a plan for leaving care.
If mokopuna have an extended care agreement (section 140(1)(d)), then the plan must be reveiwed and confirmed at a family group conference at least once a year.
For mokopuna who have family court orders in place, then a family group conference must happen before the court date. You can request a review of family court orders under section 135(4). There is a specific family group conference referral type to support this (FGC to review s128). The plan can then be filed as the court plan (s128) alongside the report (s135/s186).
The plan must:
Mokopuna with physical or learning disabilities, including speech, language and communication difficulties, may need additional support in preparing to leave care.
From the age of 15, all mokopuna should be receiving their pocket money directly from their caregivers. Caregivers need to be aware that the young person’s pocket money is being paid to them as part of their board payments, and ensure that the young person is receiving that money each week.
Other payments that should be considered for direct payment to mokopuna include:
Where mokopuna are living with a caregiving family, how financial support is provided should be part of the regular review conversations.
You need a transition plan in place at least 3 months before a mokopuna leaves care.
In the 3-6 months prior to mokopuna leaving care:
This applies even if mokopuna are placed in a residence (discussed at the Multi-Agency Team Meeting).
The plan must address any areas of need or concern for mokopuna, as well as their aspirations. It must also include:
The plan can be developed at a family group conference or hui, but it doesn't have to be confirmed at a family group conference .
If it's not possible to hold the planning meeting (eg, if the mokopuna isn't willing to participate, is transient, or is only in care for a short period of time), it must be clearly recorded what effort has been made to meet this requirement.
If the mokopuna is in education or training and turns 18 before the end of the academic year, plans must include support to make sure their studies are not disrupted. If they will:
We must make sure mokopuna receive all their financial entitlements from Work and Income or Studylink.
If a mokopuna is under 18 and is not in education, employment or training when they transition from care, you could help them to enroll in the NEET service.
Every mokopuna leaving care must have:
If the mokopuna can't safely store their documentation, a member of their support network may hold the documentation on their behalf. If this is not possible, keep it safely at the office.
If a traditional care arrangement can't be found or isn't suitable, mokopuna may be able to live independently if they're over 16, are working or studying, and have adequate practical life skills.
We can support independent living arrangements for mokopuna who want to live independently if:
The mokopuna must:
Before the arrangement begins, we must have built safety around the mokopuna by:
Once the arrangement begins, you must:
If a mokopuna is leaving care to live independently, or if a mokopuna in the custody of the chief executive is living in approved independent living arrangements, we must provide:
Any financial assistance above this is discretionary and should be based on the needs of the mokopuna.
You should help the mokopuna to develop good financial literacy by discussing which items they might need and how to buy good quality, reasonably priced goods. They could use this money to buy:
Assist the mokopuna to use these funds before they leave care. Any unspent money will remain available until the mokopuna turns 20.
This money is only available if the mokopuna is not receiving any similar financial support from another source (eg, a Transition from Care to Independence grant).
Mokopuna who are 15 to 20 can access advice and assistance after they've left care.
If they ask for it, we must provide advice and non-financial assistance to mokopuna to whom s386A of the CYP&F Act applies who have left care and:
If the mokopuna is between 15 and 18, we must first decide whether there are care or protection concerns that need to be addressed. If there are, we must follow the usual investigation or assessment processes.
Mokopuna can access advice and assistance by:
Mokopuna can request assistance themselves, or a person or agency can approach us and request assistance on their behalf.
If another person or agency requests assistance on behalf of a mokopuna, the mokopuna must consent before we can release any of their personal information.
Sharing and use of information policy or seek legal advice if you're unsure.
Mokopuna may seek our help for a variety of reasons, so the response will vary from case to case.
If they're having problems accessing services, we must act as an advocate, or help them identify someone who could advocate on their behalf (e.g. Youth Service provider).
If the assistance sought is urgent or a mokopuna contacts us after hours, our response will be based on the nature and urgency of their needs.
You might contact:
We may provide mokopuna with financial assistance when all other options have been explored.
Financial assistance must be provided to the mokopuna or the person who is caring for them, unless:
If they have not used all of the financial assistance provided to purchase items necessary to live independently, this can be accessed up until they turn 20.
If we are providing financial assistance to support mokopuna in a course of education or training, we may continue to do so even if they turn 20 before completing the course.