Planning living arrangements for mokopuna with permanent caregivers
Updated: 01 July 2016
What's Important To Us
Living in a permanent and stable whānau environment brings a critical element of predictability to the life of mokopuna, thereby promoting in them a sense of belonging and identity.
We know that stable and continuous care is important for natural and healthy child development. Mokopuna need secure and uninterrupted nurturing relationships with the adults who are responsible for their care in order to learn how to build secure attachments later in life.
It is much easier for caregivers to build and maintain a strong commitment to a mokopuna when their role is secure, they understand the needs of the mokopuna, and they have the right support when they need it.
This key information outlines how we support permanent caregivers to provide enduring care that enhances the wellbeing of Mokopuna.
Achieving a permanent living arrangement for mokopuna with a Permanent Caregiver
This arrangement is achieved when the mokopuna is living in an approved care arrangement, custody orders in favour of the chief executive have been discharged, and the caregiver has obtained legal orders to secure the permanent care arrangement through one of the following:
- parenting and guardianship order - section 27 and/or section 48 of the Care of Childrens Act, 2004
- special guardianship - section 113A of the Oranga Tamariki Act 1989
- agreement has been made with a family/whānau caregiver to secure a permanent care arrangement without taking legal orders, and
- custody orders in favour of the chief executive have been discharged.
Caregivers who have taken legal orders to secure permanency arrangements are defined by the Oranga Tamariki Act 1989 as Permanent Caregivers.
Permanent Caregiver support
For mokopuna to flourish in homes where they are safe, secure and feel that they belong, Permanent Caregivers must receive effective, responsive, and individualised support to best meet the needs of mokopuna.
There is a package of support for Permanent Caregivers which is available until mokopuna reach 18 years of age. The package, incorporates:
- legal support,
- set up support,
- access to training
- an individualised support plan for mokopuna,
- the ability to come back to request assistance when a new need arises.
When considering making a care arrangement permanent, we must recommend to caregivers that they seek independent legal advice. Oranga Tamariki will meet the costs of this legal advice.
Permanent care support plan
Permanent care support plan
We will complete an assessment of need, and a planning process which includes all parties involved in the life of the mokopuna, before applications are made to formalise the permanent care arrangement for the mokopuna. This will enable us to identify what, if any, supports will be required to care for the mokopuna in their permanent living arrangement.
We will convene a planning meeting to determine the level and nature of support required by the Permanent Caregiver for the mokopuna in the first 12 months after orders to the chief executive have been discharged. Where it is agreed supports are required these will be outlined in a permanent care support plan. The permanent care support plan must be based on the needs of mokopuna and it is likely the caregiver will want to discuss this with their legal representative.
The support plan will be approved and signed off by the Oranga Tamariki site manager and the Permanent Caregiver Support Service manager. The site manager retains responsibility for resourcing existing services until orders in favour of the chief executive are discharged. At this point responsibility for support is transferred to the Permanent Caregiver Support Service unless an existing service was scheduled to end shortly after the discharge date.
When parenting and/or guardianship orders have been secured, and orders in favour of the chief executive have been discharged, the caregiver will be supported by the Permanent Caregiver Support Service. The support plan will be administered by the Permanent Caregiver Support Service which will co-ordinate, monitor, and review the plan within the 12 months period to see if further support is required.
At any point until a mokopuna reaches 18 years old the Permanent Caregiver can come back and request assistance from the Permanent Caregiver Support Service when a new need arises. The Permanent Caregiver Support Service will make decisions about what support can be provided based on the legislative criteria and these decisions will be subject to review.
Permanent Caregiver Support Service: Support and assistance for permanent caregivers