Working with the Care and Protection Resource Panel
Updated: 22 September 2013
What's Important To Us
Care and protection decision making is complex and consultation is the key. Meeting and talking with the Care and Protection Resource Panel is an opportunity to understand the community and what is available. This flow of information can help us to make safe and well-informed decisions.
This key information outlines the role and functions of the Care and Protection Resource Panel, how the panels assist social workers in their role, and what information to provide to the panel at a consultation.
What are Care and Protection Resource Panels?
Care and Protection Resource Panels are statutory bodies under the Oranga Tamariki Act 1989. Panels are funded by Oranga Tamariki and comprise members from the local community who have professional, community and cultural knowledge and experience of children and young people including:
- education e.g. teachers, school guidance counsellors
- health e.g. doctors, plunket nurses, mental health workers
- social services e.g. family violence, intervention workers, victim support workers
- iwi social services
- cultural advisors
- youth services e.g. youth aid workers
- Family Court e.g. lawyers.
Panel members meet as a group on a regular basis. Their role is to provide advice and support to social workers, co-ordinators and members of the police about care and protection matters and provide a process for review.
Confidentiality is crucial. Under the Privacy Act and Official Information Act provisions, information discussed in a panel consultation is private and confidential to the panel members and other people directly involved.
Site managers have the delegated responsibility of establishing and maintaining the Care and Protection Resource Panel. Membership is reviewed on a two yearly basis. Good working relationships are often supported by having a liaison person from Oranga Tamariki at a senior level who assists in ensuring smooth relationships and processes.
When do I consult?
As a social worker it is your responsibility to consult with the Care and Protection Resource Panel as soon as possible after the commencement of an investigation (s17(1)) or child and family assessment. Their broad community focus and expertise in specialist areas can assist in working with family/whānau and inform your assessment and decision making.
Information provided to the panel will include that which is contained within the child and family consult, the completed safety and risk screen and the Three Houses (where these have been completed).
Social workers may also consult with the Care and Protection Resource Panel on cases other than investigations and child and family assessments on a case-by-case basis.
The care and protection co-ordinator is required to consult with the Care and Protection Resource Panel prior to convening a family group conference (s21(a)). The purpose of this consultation is to seek advice such as who the family/whānau are, or to discuss any issues such as the adequacy of information givers, the conference venue, or the exclusion of entitled members. The coordinator will also report the outcome of the family group conference back to the panel.
Keep a record of the consultation and any advice given. It is also important to record what action you take as a result of the advice provided, and an explanation if you do not follow the Panel’s advice.