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Oranga Tamariki, Ministry for Vulnerable Children

March 30, 2017 at 4:26 PM

*From the Ministry of Social Development*


The establishment of Oranga Tamariki, Ministry for Vulnerable Children as a new stand alone ministry is one of the key milestones of the IIC programme.

The creation of the new ministry:

  • signals a ‘whole of sector’, child-centred approach which will transform the way we work with vulnerable children and young people. It will act in partnership with the wider social sector, reinforcing the fact that it can only achieve outcomes through others, rather than as a primary direct delivery agency.
  • establishes the new Ministry as a single point of accountability for ensuring vulnerable children and their families and whānau get the services they need. This will ensure that government agencies work together to provide coherent and complete services to these children, young people and their families.
  • will take a broader view which will include children and young people who are at significant risk of harm now or into the future.

Oranga Tamariki incorporates Child, Youth and Family, some MSD and Community Investment functions, and the Children’s Action Plan Directorate, including Children’s Teams, ViKI and the Vulnerable Children’s Hub.

Find out more about the establishment of Oranga Tamariki, including the Final Report of the Expert Panel on Modernising Child Youth and Family

Core services

At the heart of our new system are vulnerable children or young people. We will take a broader view to include children who are at significant risk of harm now or into the future. This may be as a consequence of their family environment, and/or their own complex needs, and include young people who have offended or may offend in the future.

The new Ministry will focus on five core services which include:

It’s important that we take the time to get things right, and we’re working closely with a wide range of agencies, organisations and individuals, including young people and caregivers, to create better ways of doing things.

Full design and delivery of new services and practices will occur over a four year time horizon.

  • The first stage focuses on a transitioning to the new ministry with minimal disruption to services and support, and progressing the detailed design and delivery of a suite of ‘early enhancements’ that will help to achieve tangible improvements for children and young people and generate momentum for change
  • Stage two focuses on implementation of Care Support and Transition Support services
  • Youth Justice and Intensive Intervention services follow in Stage three
  • Prevention services will be fully implemented in the final stage.

We are testing and learning as we go, and applying what we learn to the next stage of design and rollout.

Find out more about the four-year work programme, our design approach, including how we are involving others

What will be different on Day One

The initial focus in preparing for the launch of Oranga Tamariki on 1 April has been on ensuring a smooth transition, so that children, young people and their families are not disrupted by the changeover process.

However, there are a number of significant differences from day one that will help to achieve tangible improvements for children and young people and generate momentum for change.

The age of care and protection will be raised to include 17 year olds, which means:

  • we can now accept referrals for 17 year olds, where there are concerns about their wellbeing. This means they will have increased ability to get the support and help they need
  • young people will remain in care until they turn 18, giving them stability and support for longer, and more time to build the skills, knowledge and experiences to help prepare them for independence
  • 17 year olds who are no longer in care on 1 April 2017 will have the ability to opt back in until they turn 18
  • caregivers will receive financial and other assistance for 17 year olds, giving them the ability to provide.

Increased visibility and access to child-centred feedback and complaints service, making it easier for those involved in our service to give feedback or make a complaint. This includes:

  • information specifically for children and young people, including a video and printed resources that encourage them to speak up about their experiences and to reinforce that their views are valued
  • ability to give feedback or raise concerns via the website
  • centralised oversight and coordination of the feedback and complaints process to provide a consistent approach and help influence on-going improvements at a systemic level.

Strengthened obligations to support children’s and young people’s participation, which means that:

  • at an individual level, frontline workers will ensure children and young people are supported to participate in decisions that affect them, and their views will be better represented in Court and in FGCs
  • at a systemic level, children and young people will participate in the design of services, policies and procedures.

VOYCE – Whakarongo Mai, an independent connection and advocacy agency launched,

  • operating initially in Auckland (regional hubs will be established across New Zealand over time).
  • Interactive website, designed by young people, and local connection events, will give care-experienced children and young people a community to belong to. Voyce will contact children and young people in care directly to welcome them to the service. More information will be available on their website (live from 1 April 2017)

A new organisational structure, which includes

  • one less management layer in the regions, will bring the leadership closer to the frontline and the needs of children and whānau.
  • changes to our regional boundaries will improve alignment with our health, education and Police colleagues and to map to iwi boundaries as much as possible, making it easier for us to link our services around children - See our new regional boundaries
  • new leadership roles, including a DCE for Tamariki Advocate and General Managers Māori, giving us more focus on putting the voices of children and young people at the heart of our work and working better for tamariki, rangatahi and whānau. There is also a similar role focused on Pacific children.

New branding which reflects the voices of young people

  • The voices of young people are being reflected right from the start, with the release of Oranga Tamariki’s visual identity and values.
  • Te Whānau Aroha, the Youth Advisory Panel, drove the design and made decisions around the final look and feel of the identity of Oranga Tamariki.
  • This is what we mean by ‘child-centred’. It’s more than just words, it’s involving young people in processes, in appropriate, meaningful ways.
  • Office signage will be updated gradually in line with a programme of refurbishment over time.
  • Find out more about the development of the brand identity

Housekeeping (emails, phones, website etc)

  • There are changes to email addresses, which will now be structured: (Emails sent to existing email address will automatically come through to the new email address).
  • On 1 April you can continue to contact CYF, Community Investment, Children’s Action Plan, and other MSD staff moving to Oranga Tamariki on their existing phone numbers.
  • From 1 April there will be a new Oranga Tamariki website - The content will build over time as the new Ministry develops its services and practice model.
  • The new Oranga Tamariki website replaces the CYF, Community Investment and Children's Action Plan websites, which will close on 1 April.
  • Oranga Tamariki National Office has a new postal address: P.O. Box 546, Wellington 6011

Category: Oranga Tamariki