When this policy applies
This policy applies after a youth justice family group conference has been held for tamariki or rangatahi who have offended or who are alleged to have offended. It applies to youth justice coordinators, youth justice social workers and those delegated to convene and hold a family group conference following:
- a direction from a Youth Court or Family Court, or
- a referral from the Police or another enforcement agency.
Supporting practice frameworks and standards
Principles that underpin how we work with te tamaiti or rangatahi, whānau, family and victims after the youth justice family group conference
The youth justice coordinator is responsible for ensuring the youth justice family group conference:
- supports tamariki, rangatahi, whānau, family and victims of offending through a restorative process, in the least intrusive way possible to uphold the mana of all involved
- recognises that mana tamaiti and the oranga (wellbeing) needs of te tamaiti or rangatahi are at the centre of all decision-making
- recognises and addresses the oranga needs of te tamaiti or rangatahi and the underlying causes of the offending
- recognises the rights of te tamaiti or rangatahi through the youth justice process
- sees te tamaiti or rangatahi in the context of their whakapapa and takes a holistic approach to addressing the offending
- encourages te tamaiti or rangatahi to accept responsibility for their behaviour
- encourages whānau or family participation to identify their own solutions to managing the offending
- provides support and assistance to whānau or family to strengthen their ability to support their tamaiti or rangatahi and prevent or reduce future offending
- considers the rights, interests and views of victims
- considers how the offending can be dealt with outside of court.
Changes to the youth justice family group conference plan by the Youth Court
The Youth Court considers the recommendations, decisions and plan from the youth justice family group conference. Sometimes the Youth Court directs that other tasks or conditions must be complied with instead of, or in addition to, the written record of the conference.
The plan te tamaiti or rangatahi must follow is based on the directions of the court.
The youth justice coordinator must:
- ensure te tamaiti or rangatahi is aware of any changes, directions or conditions made by the Youth Court that change the requirements for them, or any others involved in the plan
- inform others entitled to receive a copy of or directly affected by the plan if it is altered by the court.
When further assessment and information is needed after the youth justice family group conference
If the conference agrees further assessment or information is needed after the youth justice family group conference is held, the social worker with the youth justice coordinator must:
- ensure assessments are completed as soon as practicable
- consider how any new information that may impact the effectiveness of the plan is incorporated into the plan if the plan has started – they must work with te tamaiti or rangatahi and their whānau or family and other affected participants
- at the coordinator's own motion, or at the request of at least 2 members of the family group conference, consider whether the conference may need to be reconvened to either:
- reconsider a plan where agreement was not previously reached, or
- review a previous plan.
Distributing the plan
The youth justice coordinator must ensure:
- the plan is distributed to people entitled to receive a copy within 5 working days of the youth justice family group conference – so people know what is expected of them and others
- te tamaiti or rangatahi knows who is receiving a copy of the plan.
The following people are entitled to receive a copy of the plan (section 265 of the Oranga Tamariki Act 1989) even if they aren’t entitled participants of the conference or weren't present at the family group conference:
- te tamaiti or rangatahi
- a parent or guardian or other person having the care of te tamaiti or rangatahi
- the lawyer or lay advocate representing te tamaiti or rangatahi
- a representative of the enforcement agency
- the victims
- the people directly affected by the plan
- an iwi social service or cultural social service (if involved)
- the Youth Court and Family Court (if te tamaiti or rangatahi is the subject of proceedings).
Keeping victims informed of progress after the youth justice family group conference helps to restore the mana of all those involved and to achieve restorative justice. The youth justice coordinator or social worker must ensure victims:
- are given or sent a copy of the decisions, recommendations and plan
- receive updates if they have asked to be kept informed of progress on the plan
- are informed of the outcome of the plan, whether the plan has been completed or not and any actions taken to address this.