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I will know I have achieved this standard when...
- I have spent face-to-face time with the family, whānau, wider family and (where relevant) the caregiving family of each tamaiti I work with
- I have gathered information on what is happening for te tamaiti and for their family, whānau, wider family and caregiving family members, and have sought their views, wishes and feelings to inform our assessment, planning and decision making
- I have ensured their participation and voice is included in assessment and decision-making
- I have given appropriate information to family, whānau, wider family and the caregiving family about our processes, their rights, what’s happening next and have kept them informed as my work has progressed
- I have spent face-to-face time with and given appropriate information to any victims of offending by te tamaiti (who have offended) and enabled their participation in the decision-making process in a way that works best for them.
Quality practice means I also…
- communicate openly, honestly and at the earliest opportunity
- gather information about the experiences of whānau in their own parenting history and consider how this impacts on their needs for parenting support
- understand the cultural needs of whānau Māori, hapū and iwi and how to work with tikanga, culture and the dynamics of the family
- understand the needs of Pacific families and those from other culturally diverse backgrounds, and how to work responsively with them
- am clearly aware of any risks/concerns within the family, whānau or caregiving family and I have robust mitigation/intervention strategies
- understand and apply the principles of restorative justice
- acknowledge the hurt suffered by victims, listen openly to their needs and concerns.
Why do we have this standard?
- Effectively engaging family, whānau, hapū and iwi and those caring for tamariki is critical to ensuring tamariki have safe, stable, loving care at the earliest opportunity. Tamariki have told us that connecting them with their whakapapa is important to them, as it supports their sense of identity and belonging.
- Respecting whānau, hapū and iwi and putting time and effort into building trusting relationships helps whānau feel comfortable in giving their views and asking for help when they need it. It also means their needs are better understood, and resources and supports are better able to be provided to strengthen the capability of whānau so they are better able to provide care effectively for their tamariki.
- Supporting whānau to increase their participation in decision making is an important focus of engagement. As practitioners, we need to understand our own biases when working with whānau, hapū, iwi and caregivers, and consider ways to adjust the power dynamic in these relationships so they are supportive rather than threatening. This includes considering the cultural context and ‘world view’ of whānau and caregivers, and how they see their own lives and circumstances. For tamariki involved in offending, effectively engaging with victims is a key to their taking responsibility.
How will we know we have made a difference?
This standard will contribute to the following objectives:
- Improving the assessment and addressing of need, by:
- improving the frequency and quality of engagement with families, whānau, hapū and iwi and where relevant caregiving families, in assessment and decision making processes
- increasing family, whānau and caregivers involvement in and understanding of assessments and plans
- identifying strengths, resources and safety within families, whānau and caregiving families
- ensuring the needs and wishes of victims are included.
- Improving the stability of placements, by:
- improving families, whānau and caregivers’ experience of their levels of support and engagement with Oranga Tamariki practitioners
- reducing the level of offending by tamariki
- supporting te tamaiti to successfully complete their obligations arising from their offending.
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