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Page URL: https://practice.orangatamariki.govt.nz/policy/working-with-rangatahi-and-tamariki-in-remand-homes/
Printed: 14/06/2024
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Last updated: 29/04/2024

Working with rangatahi and tamariki in remand homes

Social workers and remand home kaimahi support rangatahi and tamariki when they are in, or transitioning to or from, a remand home.

Update made to this policy

A section has been added:
14-day review of stay in remand homes

Preferred terminology

This policy preferences the language of 'rangatahi and tamariki' rather than 'tamariki and rangatahi'. This is because it is in very limited circumstances that tamariki aged 10 to 13 can enter the youth justice system and be placed in a remand home. The circumstances where tamariki can be placed in a remand home are set out in guidance.

Remand homes

Remand homes offer a rangatahi or tamaiti short-term, safe, stable care in the community while they wait for their charges to be addressed in the Youth Court. They are based on the principle of restoring mana and seek to be culturally responsive, foster oranga (wellbeing) and maintain and strengthen connection to whānau, hapū, iwi and community.

This policy sets out requirements for social workers and remand home kaimahi to support rangatahi and tamariki when they are in, or transitioning to or from, a remand home.

When this policy applies

This policy applies when rangatahi or tamariki have been:

  • detained in the custody of the Oranga Tamariki chief executive under section 238(1)(d), and
  • placed in the custody of the Oranga Tamariki chief executive by Police following arrest under section 235 (detention is authorised but not required), and
  • assessed by the youth justice placement team, and
  • a community remand home has been identified as a suitable placement.

This policy does not apply to bail homes, which provide support and a place for rangatahi and tamariki to live on bail but are not places of detention.

Planning for the Youth Court Te Kōti Taiohi o Aotearoa

Who this policy applies to

The policy applies to:

  • youth justice and care and protection social workers supporting rangatahi and tamariki in, or transitioning to or from, a community remand home, regardless of whether a remand home is operated by Oranga Tamariki or another provider
  • remand home kaimahi working in Oranga Tamariki operated remand homes.

The policy does not apply to remand home kaimahi operated by partners. These homes set out their own requirements for kaimahi.

Application for a remand home placement

When a decision has been made that a remand home is the most appropriate place for a rangatahi or te tamaiti to live while they await their hearing, the youth justice social worker must prepare a youth justice admission request. Admission requests are assessed by a placement team as set out in the guidance (to come).

14-day review of stay in remand homes

We must monitor tamariki and rangatahi who are remanded on a section 238(1)(d) order in an Oranga Tamariki remand home at least once every 14 days. The purpose of the review is to determine whether detention in a remand home is still suitable or whether a less restrictive community care arrangement is more appropriate.

The first review will be by way of a family group conference. The youth justice social worker must complete any subsequent reviews.

A review must be done unless 'special circumstances' apply – for example:

  • if a court is awaiting health assessments
  • if a change in detention status is not considered to be appropriate at this stage due to further supports required to support their care arrangement.

14-day reviews of tamariki and rangatahi detained in a residence (section 242(1A)) or Corrections youth unit (section 242(2B))


All remand home kaimahi must be trained in Safety InterventionTM (formerly Managing Actual and Potential Aggression – MAPA) or another Oranga Tamariki approved de-escalation strategy.

Remand home kaimahi must use their best endeavours to de-escalate situations when there is an action or potential risk of harm. Remand home kaimahi must avoid the use of physical restraint whenever possible. Physical restraint must only be used when there is no other way to prevent serious and imminent harm, in accordance with policy and guidance.

We can only consider use of physical restraint to prevent serious and imminent harm, such as self-harm or actions that pose a serious and imminent risk of harm to others.

When rangatahi or tamariki leave the home without permission

If the rangatahi or te tamaiti leaves the home without permission or fails to return from an outing or appointment, we must:

  • immediately report this to Police, stating clearly their legal status
  • follow the missing persons protocol.

Policy: Working with tamariki and rangatahi who are missing, or whose absence is unauthorised

Monitoring and inspection of remand homes

Remand home kaimahi must support all monitoring and inspection of the home. This includes:

  • Oranga Tamariki monitoring and assurance processes
  • the Independent Children’s Monitor
  • the Office of the Children’s Commissioner, who has a monitoring role (under the Crimes of Torture Act 1989) due to the detention component of remand homes.

We must:

  • provide information requested – the Children’s Commissioner Act 2003 and Care Standards provision for independent monitoring mean we must provide information requested to meet monitoring functions
  • support access to rangatahi, tamariki, kaimahi, and other persons with relevant information as part of an inspection
  • undertake self-monitoring and keep records to support independent monitoring – for example, on admissions, length of stay and complaints.