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Page URL: https://practice.orangatamariki.govt.nz/policy/youth-court/
Printed: 22/04/2024
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Last updated: 12/03/2024

Youth Court

When we are involved with the Youth Court, we need a good understanding of the court processes and how they relate to us and the people we work with.

Who this policy applies to

This policy applies to all Oranga Tamariki kaimahi who are acting as a representative of the Oranga Tamariki chief executive when supporting tamariki or rangatahi who have been arrested or charged with an offence and are appearing in the Youth Court or are in the custody of the Oranga Tamariki chief executive.

What the Youth Court does

The Youth Court deals with criminal offending by tamariki or rangatahi that cannot be dealt with by the Police in the community. It is governed by the Oranga Tamariki Act 1989. The Youth Court makes sure that te tamaiti or rangatahi is dealt with in a way that acknowledges their needs and oranga, while ensuring they are held accountable for their offending.

Remand

Te tamaiti or rangatahi may be remanded into the custody of Oranga Tamariki or the Police before the charge is determined and disposed of.

The specific considerations for the Youth Court are set out in the Youth Justice Custody pathway guidelines.

Youth Justice Custody pathway guidelines

The Remand Options Investigation Tool (abridged version) must be completed for all rangatahi who are set to appear in the Youth Court and Police have indicated they will oppose bail.

The Remand Options Investigation Tool (full version) must be completed every 14 days for those tamariki and rangatahi held in a custodial remand placement (in line with section 242(1A) of the Oranga Tamariki Act 1989).

Remand Options Investigation Tool – templates

Orders and monitoring in the Youth Court Te Kōti Taiohi o Aotearoa

Youth Court orders

The Youth Court can make a variety of orders and directions in response to youth offending. Each order has different requirements and timeframes for kaimahi.

Detail of the different types of orders is set out in the guidance for orders and monitoring.

Orders and monitoring for the Youth Court Te Kōti Taiohi o Aotearoa

Transition planning after supervision with residence orders

Social workers must:

  • support a smooth transition for tamariki and rangatahi from residential care to community-based care (this includes how te tamaiti or rangatahi is moved between facilities)
  • discuss the conditions of the proposed supervision order with te tamaiti or rangatahi and their whānau or family, or the need to vary existing or impose new conditions for the plan
  • liaise closely with the residential case leader when they complete the section 334 report and section 335 plan for the section 311(2A)(b) post-residence Supervision Order for te tamaiti or rangatahi before they leave the residence
  • stipulate the level of supervision, monitoring and any additional conditions that will promote the successful completion of the plans of te tamaiti or rangatahi
  • reduce the likelihood of reoffending and re-admission to a residence.

Transitions for children and young people who offend: Actively planning for success

Policy: Transition to adulthood – preparation, assessment and planning

Policy: Transitions within care

Consulting about sharing information

Split sentencing for supervision with residence and for supervision with activity

If more than one order is required, the Youth Court usually makes those orders at the same time. However, split sentencing enables a case to be brought back to the Youth Court to consider the appropriateness, duration or conditions of any following supervision order. 

The court decides on a case-by-case basis if split sentencing occurs.

If a social worker considers that split sentencing is appropriate, they must raise this in the section 334 report and include their reasons.

Recording outcomes from the Youth Court

Every tamaiti or rangatahi who appears before the Youth Court must have a court record opened and outcome entered in CYRAS. This includes all tamariki or rangatahi on Youth Court ordered bail conditions or who receive a section 282 discharge.

It is the responsibility of the court supervisor to accurately record directions given by the court. We are required to obtain a copy of court orders promptly after the court hearing and will need to check that the orders accurately reflect the directions given.

Any inconsistencies must be identified and rectified quickly. Legal advice should be sought from solicitors as necessary.

Holding the youth justice family group conference