When this policy applies
This policy applies when tamariki and rangatahi we are working with are travelling with Oranga Tamariki kaimahi including contactors, such as resource workers, or when we are arranging travel on their behalf.
This includes tamariki and rangatahi in our care or custody, including those in a remand home, community home, care and protection residence or supervised group home when an escort arrangement is not required.
This policy does not apply to escorting arrangements being made for tamariki and rangatahi who are living in a care and protection residence or youth justice residence, remand home, community home or supervised group home.
This policy does not apply to business-related travel for kaimahi. The corporate travel guidelines cover business-related travel.
Risk assessment for travel
Safe arrangements must be in place when tamariki and rangatahi are travelling.
Before every trip, we must assess whether there are any risks and take steps to mitigate them.
The risk assessment must consider the overall oranga of te tamaiti or rangatahi, including consideration of circumstances or events that may cause particular stress or distress for te tamaiti or rangatahi and that could lead to unexpected or out-of-character risky behaviour.
We must feel comfortable the travel can occur safely, without any unnecessary risk of harm to te tamaiti or rangatahi, people accompanying them and the public.
If we are not able to eliminate identified risks, we must consider what added precautions we could take to mitigate the risk and ensure the oranga (wellbeing, health, safety and security) of te tamaiti or rangatahi – for example, having another person accompany us or choosing a safer mode of transport.
If we are not able to mitigate identified risks, and te tamaiti or rangatahi is moving to or from a remand home or community home, or from Police custody to Oranga Tamariki custody, consider whether an escort is required.
Considerations for travel
While each situation will be different, a number of factors must be considered when making travel arrangements, including:
- the purpose of the travel
- the views and preferences of their whānau or family and caregivers
- the age and developmental stage of te tamaiti or rangatahi
- ensuring the oranga of te tamaiti or rangatahi before, during and after travel
- who would be most appropriate to accompany te tamaiti or rangatahi (this may be more than one person)
- whether it is appropriate for te tamaiti or rangatahi to travel unaccompanied, taking into consideration the duration of the travel (local or intercity) and whether this is a familiar journey for them or if this will be the first time they will make this trip – also consider their views and the views of caregivers and whānau or family members
- how long the travel is going to take and the duration of any overseas or domestic stays
- the most appropriate mode of transportation – for example, Oranga Tamariki vehicle, bus, plane
- any other factors, such as whether te tamaiti or rangatahi has a disability or essential medication
- any national or regional health regulations in place, such as COVID-19 restrictions.
If kaimahi are travelling with te tamaiti or rangatahi, we must ensure that they are not working to the point of tiredness, fatigue or stress that hinders their ability to carry out their responsibilities. Consideration must be given to whether an overnight accommodation or additional kaimahi are required to ensure this.
When determining the most appropriate mode of travel, it is important to consider the oranga of:
- te tamaiti or rangatahi
- people accompanying them
- the public.
Travel arrangements for or on behalf of tamariki and rangatahi are booked through CYRAS using the CYRAS travel forms. Consult the CYRAS handbook for further information on completing travel forms.
If, after careful consideration of all of the above travel considerations, it is agreed that it is appropriate for te tamaiti or rangatahi to travel unaccompanied, we must ensure that:
- for longer journeys, we comply with any additional oversights that are required for Unaccompanied Minors (such as policies for Air New Zealand or Intercity Bus)
- an emergency plan is in place that includes a designated contact person being available for the duration of the travel, as well as a plan for who will contact them if necessary
- adequate consideration is given to the oranga (wellbeing, health, safety and security) of te tamaiti or rangatahi, and others, while in transit
- arrangements are in place for the whole journey, including for them to be met at the end of the travel.
Consent for travel for tamariki and rangatahi who are not in our care or custody
On occasion, we may travel with, or arrange travel for, tamariki or rangatahi we are working with who are not in our care or custody. This must only occur with the consent of the person who has custody of them. It's preferable that the consent is in writing (for example, by text or email) but verbal consent is acceptable. We must record that we sought and received consent, who gave consent (if only one parent was spoken to) and any discussions we had in a casenote in CYRAS.