Who this policy applies to
This policy applies to all tamariki and rangatahi who are living in or going to be living in a residence. This includes tamariki and rangatahi placed in residences on remand. This policy reflects obligations under both the Oranga Tamariki (Residential Care) Regulations 1996 (Residential Care Regulations) and the Oranga Tamariki (National Care Standards and Related Matters) Regulations 2018 (National Care Standards).
When this policy doesn’t apply
This policy doesn’t apply to tamariki and rangatahi living in a supervised group home or community remand home.
Before te tamaiti or rangatahi comes to a residence
Prior to tamariki or rangatahi entering a residence, their social worker must update or create the All About Me plan, to ensure a planned and informed transition into the residence. This includes completing or updating their Tuituia assessment.
Where tamariki or rangatahi are in or are preparing to enter a residence and there are both care and protection and youth justice social workers involved, the social workers must work together to meet the immediate and long-term needs of te tamaiti.
A decision must be made as to which social worker is responsible for leading the plan, and this must be recorded. Which social worker has primary responsibility should be based on the circumstances that have led to a residential placement and the present needs of te tamaiti.
In most cases if te tamaiti is going into a youth justice residence, the primary responsibility will lie with the youth justice social worker, who must consult with the care and protection social worker. In most cases if te tamaiti is going into a care and protection residence, the primary responsibility will lie with the care and protection social worker, who must consult with the youth justice social worker.
This information must be provided to residence staff and available for them to access on CYRAS.
When te tamaiti is coming into a residence under urgent circumstances, we must do as much as we practically can to prepare for and support this transition. In urgent circumstances (such as a rangatahi going straight to residence from Youth Court) the social worker with primary responsibility must create or update the All About Me plan for a tamariki or rangatahi as soon as practicable after their admission.
The 'Transitions within care' policy has information on how to do this.
Admission — what we must do immediately
When a tamaiti or rangatahi arrives at a residence, their residential case leader must ensure te tamaiti or rangatahi:
- completes the residence's induction or orientation programme — this includes being told about secure care
- is given a copy of the child-friendly Statement of Rights and can ask any questions they may have about their rights
- undergoes a medical check-up within 7 days of their admission
- is screened, using the Kessler and Suicide Screen, to identify any risk factors and/or urgent needs.
On the day of admission, staff must create a Risk Summary in youth justice residences or Operational Plan in care and protection residences, for te tamaiti or rangatahi that will be available to all staff.
All tamariki and rangatahi who enter a residence must have a placement record created in CYRAS to reflect their placement.
The plan for tamariki and rangatahi in residences
Within 7 days of admission, we must ensure te tamaiti or rangatahi have an All About Me plan in a care and protection residence, or Individual Care Plan attached to their All About Me plan in a youth justice residence which covers:
- the objectives, responsibilities and personal objectives for te tamaiti or rangatahi while they are in the residence
- support and assistance that will be provided to te tamaiti or rangatahi to meet their assessed needs, including services, or programmes for matters relating to education, health, employment and recreation, culture, belonging and identity
- contact arrangements for te tamaiti or rangatahi with siblings, family/whānau, hapū, iwi and significant others
- how often they will be visited by their social worker — if their social worker can’t physically visit, a video call or phone call can be used to complete the visit or engagement.
To make sure everyone is engaged with the plan, include the views of family/whānau, caregivers and other important people involved with te tamaiti or rangatahi.
Tamariki and rangatahi must have a child-friendly version of the plan (known as a tamariki plan) written in plain language and available in a way they can understand. For rangatahi in a youth justice residence, this may be their Individual Care Plan, which must be attached to their All About Me plan.
While te tamaiti is in a residence, their plan must be reviewed and updated as required to reflect any changes, and at least once every 4 weeks. This review must include all relevant parties, including health and education services.
When health, education or any other assessments identify any previously unidentified needs, this updated information must be added to plan for te tamaiti or rangatahi. This can be in the form of a separate plan such as a treatment or education plan, which can be linked to the All About Me plan or added into the Individual Care Plan.
Care and protection residences
The key social worker has lead responsibility for ensuring the All About Me plan is updated or reviewed within 7 days when a tamaiti or rangatahi enters a care and protection residence. The case leader is responsible for ensuring that the requirements and objectives that relate specifically to the time in residence are provided for inclusion in the All About Me plan.
The key social worker has lead responsibility for keeping the All About Me plan up to date throughout the residential stay, by gathering information from the case worker, te tamaiti or rangatahi, family, whānau, hapū and iwi, caregiver, other professionals who provide ongoing services to te tamaiti or rangatahi and any other source of information. The case leader has responsibility for keeping the social worker updated on progress and the development of te tamaiti or rangatahi during their residential stay to inform the All About Me plan.
Youth justice residences
The case leader is responsible for developing an Individual Care Plan within 7 days of rangatahi entering a youth justice residence, containing the required content set out above. It must also include the therapeutic goals for rangatahi, and address any offending-related behaviour (if they have had charges proven). This is to be attached to the All About Me plan in CYRAS.
The youth justice social worker has lead responsibility for developing, updating and maintaining the All About Me plan to meet the needs of rangatahi. The case leader has responsibility for keeping the social worker updated on progress and the development of rangatahi during their residential stay.
If rangatahi have a care and protection social worker and youth justice social worker, it must be agreed who is primarily responsible for creating, updating and reviewing the All About Me plan. In most cases it will be the youth justice social worker. This must be recorded.
The person responsible for each plan must keep it up to date throughout the residential stay, by gathering information from the case leader or social worker, te tamaiti or rangatahi, family, whānau, hapū and iwi, caregiver and any other source of information.
Residential stays of less than 5 days
For residential stays of less than 5 days, the same admission process as above will occur for each tamaiti or rangatahi. We must complete a Risk Summary in youth justice residences or Operational Plan in care and protection residences, detailing the specific strengths and needs of te tamaiti or rangatahi, education, recreational activities and contact with significant others.
Senior residential staff must make sure:
- all medication is stored, transported and distributed safely and securely in accordance with Ministry of Health legislative requirements
- a medication chart is created for each te tamaiti or rangatahi receiving medication, and all staff can access it
- all medication is prescribed by a doctor, nurse practitioner or dentist and given according to their instructions
- medication is given to 1 tamaiti or rangatahi at a time
- each te tamaiti or rangatahi is monitored to make sure they take their medication
- any medication errors are immediately reported to the registered nurse so that te tamaiti or rangatahi can receive the right medical follow-up
- medication via injection is not administered — this can only be given by a health team member.
If a tamaiti or rangatahi refuses their medication, their case leader and the medical team must be advised. Persistent refusal of medication must be discussed with team leader clinical practice to decide on an appropriate course of action.
All controlled drugs must be checked daily and audited weekly by a team leader and a registered nurse together. All unused medication must be given to and disposed of by a health professional. Staff also must record when they have administered medications that do not require a prescription, such as paracetamol.
Managing tamariki and rangatahi belongings and property
Tamariki and rangatahi must be given clear information about which of their belongings they are able to have with them while they are in residence. All property coming into the residence on admission and during the residential stay of te tamaiti or rangatahi must be:
- signed by a staff member
- co-signed by te tamaiti or rangatahi.
All tamariki and rangatahi must have a suitable backpack or bag for their belongings. If they don’t, we must provide one for them.
When te tamaiti or rangatahi leaves the residence, their property must be signed out by both them and a staff member. Property that is not permitted in the residence must be stored safely and securely until te tamaiti or rangatahi leaves, or returned to the family or site social worker.
Each residence must have a process in place for tamariki and rangatahi to make a lost property claim and have their claim investigated.
Use of electronic media and publications
In some situations, tamariki and rangatahi can have an electronic device, use social media and play music while in the residence. This is written into their operational plan or risk summary.
Transporting and escorting tamariki and rangatahi to or from a residence
Scheduled escorts are planned and undertaken between 8am and 5pm Monday to Friday. There will be times when a tamaiti or rangatahi arrives outside these hours and this must be discussed with senior staff at the residence.
All escorts must be carried out professionally to ensure te tamaiti or rangatahi is safely and securely escorted to and from their destination while being treated with dignity and respect.
Before the escort, the case leader must complete the Off Site Activity/Event on the Risk Assessment Form. This form must be signed off by a team leader or the staff member on the senior duty roster, before the escort takes place. If, for some reason, the form cannot be completed before the escort takes place, the escorting staff must get the approval of the residence manager before they leave.
The case leader must tell te tamaiti or rangatahi of the travel as soon as possible.
Escorting staff must ensure that they:
- are fully briefed by the case leader, team leader or staff member on the senior duty roster on any risks te tamaiti or rangatahi may pose, and the procedures they must follow to mitigate each risk
- comply with this procedure and seek clarification and approval from the residence manager when unsure
- carry a cell phone throughout the escort.
There must be a minimum of 2 Oranga Tamariki employees who have been trained in carrying out escorts and in the Management of Actual or Potential Aggressions (MAPA) for Care and Protection, or Safe Tactical Approach and Response (STAR) for Youth Justice. A minimum of 1 escort will be the same gender as te tamaiti or rangatahi.
Where 2 or more tamariki or rangatahi are being escorted at the same time, the residence manager must approve the ratio of tamariki and rangatahi to staff.
Care and protection residence managers can approve a care and protection tamaiti or rangatahi being escorted by 1 staff member.
Youth justice road escorts
Escorting staff must ensure:
- the car windows are up and disabled
- te tamaiti or rangatahi is seated in the backseat behind the front passenger seat
- Child Lock is engaged on the side that the rangatahi is seated.
One escort must travel in the back with te tamaiti or rangatahi.
Escorting staff must travel from the residence to their destination and back to the residence without making any stops (this means no stopping to visit the family/whānau of te tamaiti or rangatahi, or for food or toilet stops) unless it is planned and approved on the Risk Assessment Form. If anyone needs to use the toilet while on the road they must only stop at police stations.
In the event of an emergency, unless it is considered unsafe, te tamaiti or rangatahi must stay in the vehicle. In emergencies, the escort staff must ensure the safety and wellbeing of te tamaiti or rangatahi and themselves. The staff must contact the residence manager as soon as possible and advise them of the emergency.
When Police are assisting with the escort, at least 1 staff member must accompany te tamaiti or rangatahi.
- Escort staff must check in 40 minutes before the plane's departure and identify themselves to the airline staff. They need to have the appropriate letter and documentation.
- Air travel must include at least 1 residential staff member carrying handcuffs who has completed Oranga Tamariki handcuff training requirements.
- Staff must follow the directions of the airline staff and minimise any contact between te tamaiti or rangatahi and members of the public.
- Staff can only use handcuffs while in the aircraft and at the direction of the pilot and to protect the safety of the aircraft, persons or property.
- Staff must report any incidents that occur during the escort to their residence manager as soon as possible after the plane has landed.
Care and protection residence managers can give approval for tamariki or rangatahi to be escorted by air with a single staff member who is the same gender as te tamaiti or rangatahi. Escorting staff must follow the decisions made by the court (this means the judge or registrar) and comply with all reasonable requests from court staff.
Legislation that impacts on youth justice escorts
Rangatahi in cells after hours
When rangatahi are arrested by Police after hours, during the weekends or on public holidays, they may require Oranga Tamariki escorts for transport to a residence. If there are no beds available, they remain in cells until the next available Youth Court date.
The contact centre holds the delegated supervisory responsibility for after-hours placement of rangatahi. They will advise what we must do to comply with all policy and practice.
Rangatahi must not remain in cells just because of transport issues. When a placement is available, rangatahi must be transported as soon as possible. Residential services may have limited capability for escorting during after-hours and holiday periods, so talk to residences to see whether they can help.
What the contact centre must do
When the contact centre receives a notification from the Police that a tamaiti or rangatahi has been arrested, they must ask:
- Who is te tamaiti or rangatahi, what's their date of birth and what have they been arrested for?
- What time was the rangatahi arrested?
- When is the intended appearance in court?
- Have the parents or caregivers of te tamaiti or rangatahi been informed of the arrest and are they are likely to visit their rangatahi at the police station?
- If so, who and what was the contact number?
- Where applicable, what has been the outcome of approaches to family/whānau or significant others for an alternative placement?
What the after-hours duty social worker must do
The contact centre calls out the local after-hours duty social worker, who must make arrangements to visit te tamaiti or rangatahi at the police station. They must also:
- complete the SKS assessment and screening tools to determine state of mind and wellbeing of tamariki or rangatahi
- continue conversations with Police, to determine if the situation has changed since the contact centre was informed of the arrest
- work with Police to consider alternatives to residential custody and discuss whether police bail is a viable option, including contacting the family or caregiver.
Contact the duty supervisor at the contact centre or the local youth justice manager if you need further guidance.
Police custody over 24 hours
In some areas of New Zealand there are limited flights available to escort rangatahi after hours. It may not be in the best interest of rangatahi to drive them for extensive periods for time to a residence.
When all viable escorting options have been investigated and there are no options, a rangatahi can be held in Police custody until the next Youth Court appearance or until a safe escort can be arranged. On rare occasions this stay may exceed 24 hours. All conversations about the rationale for the section 236 (detaining a rangatahi in police custody) must be fully documented in CYRAS.
If a te tamaiti or rangatahi wants to make a complaint
We value feedback from our tamariki or rangatahi. They can make a complaint if they feel they have been treated unfairly, unreasonably or unlawfully, and they can also make suggestions or give us feedback if they feel they want things changed.
Tamariki and rangatahi must be supported to:
- understand the complaints process
- make a complaint when they have decided to
- understand the possible outcomes of making a complaint
- engage in the complaints process.
There is specific policy and guidance on supporting tamariki or rangatahi in care to make a complaint.
When tamariki or rangatahi want to make a complaint, make suggestions, or give feedback, we must:
- have the Whaia Te Maramatanga form available and make sure there is a secure mailbox to post the form in
- offer support to complete the form, either from staff or an advocate
- acknowledge their complaint within 3 days
- ensure a senior staff member investigates their complaint and reports the outcome to them, in a form that is suitable for their age, development, disability and any language barriers, within 14 working days, or advises te tamaiti or rangatahi why it will take longer
- within 3 days of receiving an outcome for the complaint, give te tamaiti or rangatahi the opportunity to have their complaint reviewed by the Grievance Panel if they feel the matter is not sorted
- if they feel the matter is not sorted after the Grievance Panel has reviewed the complaint, within 3 days provide the opportunity for rangatahi to have this reviewed by the Office of the Children’s Commissioner or Ombudsman.
Shift planning and debriefing
Handover meetings occur for all shifts and this handover must be conducted by the team leader or the shift leader and must include a debrief from the previous shift.
At this time:
- identify any risks or concerns from the current shift
- identify risks or potential risks for the next shift
- discuss off-site appointments or movements
- discuss how the shift progressed and make recommendations on how things could be done differently for the following shift
- identify the general ‘mood’ within the residence
- allocate tasks to team members, such as daily log, gym programmes, phone calls, kitchen.
All work in a residence needs to happen within a context of professional supervision — the Professional Supervision policy guides practice for residential social workers.
Line of sight
The primary task of the residence’s care team is to engage te tamaiti or rangatahi and proactively manage their behaviour, in line with Behaviour Change practice and the Punctuated Practice approach.
During each shift, all staff members must be in the line of sight of at least 1 other staff member and all tamariki and rangatahi must be in the line of sight of at least 1 staff member.
Monitoring tamariki and rangatahi at night
At the beginning and end of each night shift, a count of the number of tamariki and rangatahi in the residence must be done jointly by staff members from both the beginning and end shifts.
The frequency of checks on tamariki and rangatahi must be aligned to the current needs of te tamaiti or rangatahi as identified in their Operational Plan or Risk Summary, including if they have been identified as being at risk of suicide and/or self-harm. At a minimum, each tamaiti or rangatahi must be sighted by a staff member at least once every 30 minutes.
Any other requirements in the Operational Plan or Risk Summary of te tamaiti or rangatahi relating to their bedtime routine must also be followed.
When staff complete their checks, they must use the I-button at all times.
Requirements for recording at night
The daily log must be completed every night, with every incident, event or period of unsettled behaviour by a rangatahi recorded accurately. The night shift supervisor may only sign off the daily log once they are satisfied that it has been completed correctly and accurately.
Any issues with either using the I-button probe or I-button recording must be entered in the daily log and alerted to the night shift supervisor.
Shift Planning and Debriefing Sheets and Shift Summary Sheets must be completed accurately and reflect who is responsible for specific duties during the night shift.
Undertaking a search of a tamaiti or rangatahi
Before we do a mail search or search a tamaiti or rangatahi, we must have reasonable grounds to believe they are in possession of an unauthorised item.
Transitioning out of the residence
We must always plan for and support a positive transition when tamariki and rangatahi leave a residence, regardless of where they are transitioning to. (There are additional assessment and planning requirements for rangatahi who are eligible for supports from the Transition to Adulthood service when they are preparing to leave a residence.)
The All About Me plan must be updated to reflect the transitional needs and support for tamariki or rangatahi before they leave the residence.
The plan must be jointly developed by the Multi-Agency Team (MAT) and include the views and information from:
- the residential case leader
- site social worker
- any transition support worker
- te tamaiti or rangatahi
- their family/whānau
- the people in their hapū, iwi or family group and others who are considered important to or for te tamaiti or rangatahi as identified in the Tuituia assessment
- any current or future caregivers.
Any information gathered during the residential stay must be taken into account when updating the All About Me plan to reflect the transition. This plan needs to be consistent with any care or protection or youth justice plans made under the Oranga Tamariki Act.
For tamariki and rangatahi returning home, the Return Home Policy must be complied with.
The following documents will guide you through this process:
Placing tamariki and rangatahi in secure care
Tamariki and rangatahi can only be admitted to secure care under section 368(1)(a) and (b) of the Oranga Tamariki Act 1989 and with the approval of a team leader or staff member on Senior Duty Roster.
When an admission to secure care is considered appropriate, all tamariki and rangatahi must:
- receive structured reflection work related to the grounds for their admission
- be reviewed daily to decide if the grounds still exist for them to remain in secure care — the person responsible for the secure unit or staff member on the Senior Duty Roster must complete this review
- be removed from secure care as soon as is safe and practicable and in the best interests of te tamaiti or rangatahi
- not be in secure care for more than 3 consecutive days or 72 hours continuously without an application being made to the court to extend this time.
Use of physical force
We are committed to keeping our staff and rangatahi safe.
We provide training programmes for all staff to help them work alongside tamariki and rangatahi and keep them safe, including:
- Strengthening Engagement
- Management of Actual or Potential Aggression (MAPA) for Care and Protection Residences
- Safe Tactical Approach and Response (STAR) for Youth Justice Residences.
If there's a situation with a tamaiti or rangatahi, staff must try to resolve the situation verbally. Physical intervention should be avoided at all times, unless:
- all non-physical approaches have failed, and
- te tamaiti or rangatahi has become out of control and is turning towards physical risk behaviour, where they might attempt to assault others or self-harm.
Use of physical holds
The use of physical force or holds while dealing with a tamaiti or rangatahi in residence must be kept to an absolute minimum and only be used in extreme circumstances and when staff have reasonable grounds for believing that the use of physical force is necessary. Reasonable grounds for using physical holds are:
- in self-defence, or in the defence of another person
- to protect that tamaiti or rangatahi from injury, including suicide attempt
- to prevent that tamaiti or rangatahi from significantly damaging property
- to prevent that tamaiti or rangatahi from leaving the residence if they are not authorised to do so
- to contain te tamaiti or rangatahi in secure care, or
- for the purpose of carrying out any search authorised by the Oranga Tamariki (Residential Care) Regulations 1996.
When the use of physical holds is deemed necessary for 1 or more of these reasons, at least 2 staff should be involved to capitalise on staff knowledge, skill, experiences and communication skills. This also ensures that our rangatahi are protected from the potential misuse or abuse of such approaches.
Staff must use physical holds that are reasonable in the circumstances. When it is assessed that physical holds are necessary, it must be the least restrictive form necessary, and only applied for as long as necessary to prevent an individual harming themselves or others.
Physical force must not be used when a less intrusive form of intervention is adequate.
Excessive or inappropriate use of physical holds
The use of excessive or inappropriate physical holds is not permitted.
Allegations that a staff member has used excessive or inappropriate holds against a tamaiti or rangatahi will be investigated in accordance with Oranga Tamariki human resource policy documents, including the Collective Agreement and the Code of Conduct. Allegations of excessive or inappropriate use of force may also be referred to New Zealand Police.
Only techniques approved by Oranga Tamariki that are MAPA must be used to hold a tamaiti or rangatahi. Any staff member exercising force or holds must be MAPA trained. MAPA is designed to use escalation techniques and preventive strategies and minimum force with the focus on preventing injury to either party.
When force and/or holds have been used in a situation, the team leader or staff member on the Duty Senior Roster must be informed immediately so that the wellbeing and health needs of te tamaiti or rangatahi are assessed and required assistance sought.
Recording and reporting use of force
Incidents where force has been used must be recorded in the daily log by the end of the shift the incident occurred during, detailing:
- who was present
- what precipitated the situation
- what attempts were made to de-escalate the situation
- whether restraint was used
- which restraint technique was used
- whether any physical injuries were sustained during the incident
- the use of the force and of the circumstances giving rise to the justification of its use.
A SOSHI must be completed following an incident where force has been used and given to the shift leader.
When a tamaiti or rangatahi has a life threatening injury or dies
In situations when a tamaiti or rangatahi in the residence has a life-threatening injury or dies, residential staff must:
- assess the situation and in line with their training, attempt to resuscitate te tamaiti or rangatahi until such time as a person with the appropriate medical authority confirms the death
- immediately call for the Police and an ambulance
- secure the scene to enable the Police to do an investigation
- inform the residence manager who will decide who will be advised (in accordance with 'When a tamaiti or rangatahi dies').