I will know I have achieved this standard when...
- I have spent face-to-face time, alone when possible, with each tamaiti I work with
- I have engaged with someone who can speak on behalf of tamariki who are unable to speak for themselves
- I have gathered information about what is happening for them, their needs, risks, strengths, their culture and identity, and their views, wishes and feelings
- I have discussed with tamariki who have offended the effects of their offending on victims and the community
- I have identified their whakapapa, important connections and relationships
- I have ensured their participation and voice in assessment and decision making
- I have shared information about their rights and spoken with them about what is happening and next steps
- I have ensured their views inform the decision making
- I have checked they continue to be safe through observing their physical wellbeing and any changes that may have occurred in their behaviour or demeanour.
Quality practice means I also…
- understand, engage and communicate in age and developmentally appropriate ways to build positive, responsive and trusting relationships
- understand the cultural needs of tamariki Māori when engaging with them
- understand the cultural needs of Pacific tamariki and tamariki from other culturally diverse backgrounds when engaging with them
- understand the cultural and other needs of victims of offending by tamariki.
Why do we have this standard?
- Seeing tamariki face to face and engaging with them positively is a critical part of our practice. Being ‘child-centred’ means we understand that every tamaiti we work with has ‘mana’ and a deep intrinsic worth as a young human being. Their experiences may have led to significant damage and a diminishing of their mana and so our work with te tamaiti is restorative. We are focused on their healing, wellbeing and supporting them to achieve the very best outcomes to their full potential. We need to listen to tamariki, build relationships with them, get to know them, find out about their views and act in their best interests. Tamariki must have opportunities to be part of our planning and decision making, and we must talk with them about decisions that affect them.
- Child-centred practice also means that when we are looking at the strengths and needs of te tamaiti, we consider these within the context of their wider safety, stability, security, wellbeing and development needs. This is particularly relevant when identifying and assessing cumulative harm and any offending behaviour by te tamaiti. It also means understanding the holistic needs of tamariki which extend to their psychological and cultural needs, including their sense of attachment, personal identity and feeling of being loved and belonging to a family.
- Mana tamaiti is inherent in all children and whakapapa and whanaungatanga must be considered in accordance with the child’s own culture. For tamariki Māori, this standard should be applied with the ‘whakamana te tamaiti’ practice standard.
How will we know we have made a difference?
This standard will contribute to the following objectives:
- Increasing face-to-face time with children and young people, by:
- increasing the time practitioners spend with the tamariki on their caseloads.
- Improving children’s experience of the support they receive, by:
- improving the quality of engagement and building greater trust between tamariki and the professionals working with them
- increasing the involvement of tamariki in decision making and ensure they understand the plan
- improving the safety of tamariki
- te tamaiti taking responsibility for their offending.
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