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Page URL: https://practice.orangatamariki.govt.nz/policy/transition-to-adulthood-preparation-assessment-and-planning/
Printed: 14/06/2024
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Last updated: 30/04/2024

Transition to adulthood — Preparation, assessment and planning

This policy outlines how we must help rangatahi prepare to transition from care or other placements including youth justice residential placements and become increasingly independent.

Update made to this policy

Information is provided about a streamlined process for rangatahi in care aged 15 to 17 years to open a bank account.
Assisting rangatahi to obtain official documentation

Assessing life skills

Preparing rangatahi to become increasingly independent includes assessing their life skills.

We must:

  • assess the life skills of rangatahi when they’re 15 years and over
  • take into account any developmental or disability issues as part of the assessment
  • incorporate into their plan the steps that are needed to strengthen their life skills in preparation for independence, and how we will support them to do this
  • keep a record of this assessment.

If rangatahi are living in a youth justice residential placement the life skills assessment and associated planning process must occur as soon as practicable, once it’s known that they will be eligible for the Transition to Adulthood Service.

Assessing life skills to help rangatahi transition to adulthood

Assisting rangatahi to obtain official documentation

Before rangatahi leave care or custody we must assist them to obtain any official documentation they need. This includes:

  • a verified online identity
  • an IRD number
  • photo identification
  • an original copy of their birth certificate
  • a bank account
  • ensuring they understand their legal obligation to enrol on the General or Māori electoral roll.

Westpac has a streamlined process for rangatahi in care aged 15 to 17 years to open a bank account. This process removes some of the barriers that rangatahi may experience when opening an account. Rangatahi may open an account with any bank of their choosing.

Instructions for Westpac bank account application process for 15 to 17 year olds (PDF 150 KB)

Education and employment obligations

We must:

  • ensure that rangatahi who are 15 years of age and who in care or custody are enrolled at a registered school or in an approved home schooling arrangement  
  • ensure rangatahi in our care or custody who are between 16 and 18 years of age are assisted to be enrolled at a registered school or tertiary education organisation; or to obtain employment. 

Support to address child’s or young person’s needs — part 2 National Care Standards 2018

Working with NGOs and teams who are supporting very high needs rangatahi

Some rangatahi with very high needs will be receiving support from NGOs, or in some cases specialist teams within Oranga Tamariki, after they leave care or other placements including youth justice residential placements.

This support will be provided alongside that delivered by the transition workers. In these cases, the plan will reflect this collaboration and the social worker (site or residential) must work with these NGOs or teams as well as the transition worker.

Discretion to provide financial assistance above $1,500

Any financial assistance above the initial $1,500 is discretionary. Decisions to exceed $1,500 should:

  • consider the individual circumstances of rangatahi
  • be responsive to their assessed needs
  • take into account that needs will change over time
  • consider financial assistance available from other sources and access these first if possible.

The financial assistance decision making framework and principles and purposes are to be drawn on in the decision making process.

Rangatahi with high and complex needs

If high and complex needs are identified, these can provide grounds for additional levels of financial assistance to help rangatahi achieve independence.