National standards regulations for children in care approved

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Regulations for national standards of care have been approved under the Oranga Tamariki Act 1989 (Children’s and Young People’s Well-being Act 1989).

The care standards, officially called Oranga Tamariki (National Care Standards and Related Matters) Regulations 2018, will come into effect on 1 July 2019. These set out the standards for children and young people who are in the care or custody of Oranga Tamariki - Ministry for Children. The standards also apply to organisations that have a child or young person in their care or custody under the Oranga Tamariki Act.

The regulations establish actions that must be taken to make sure children and young people receive an appropriate standard of care. The regulations have six parts:

  • Needs assessments, plans and visits to children and young people
  • Support for children including general support, whānau connections, culture and identity, play, health, education and making a complaint
  • Caregiver and care placement assessment and support
  • Supporting children and young persons to express their views and contribute to their care experience
  • Supporting children and young persons during care transitions
  • Monitoring and reporting on compliance with these regulations

They also include a Statement of Rights for children and young people.

Background information

As part of the reforms to the child protection system, the Oranga Tamariki Act 1989 required the Minister for Children to recommend regulations for standards of care. In developing the standards, the Ministry released a Cabinet paper and Regulatory Impact Statement (RIS) on the national care standards.

For more information see the Oranga Tamariki one-page background document and the Oranga Tamariki newsletter article. Also see our previous news stories:

New reports and OIA responses on children from Oranga Tamariki and more, May 2018

MSD developing national care standards, March 2017

Government announces more reforms to child protection and care, September 2016

To stay up-to-date with news from Oranga Tamariki subscribe to their email newsletter.

Related news

Other news from the July 2018 Oranga Tamariki email update included a national hui to discuss further changes coming in July 2019 as part of the legislative reforms. Oranga Tamariki has also published Our Focus, a summary of progress for the first year and future directions for the Ministry.

The Oranga Tamariki Evidence Centre has published a profile of their work. They run bi-monthly seminars on research areas that impact New Zealand’s children and families. The next seminar on the 27 July 2018 examines how the Integrated Data Infrastructure (IDI) can help measure impact of services on children. To get updates from the Evidence Centre, email research@ot.govt.nz.

The Ministry of Social Development (MSD) has started work on the possibility of  independent oversight of the child care and protection system, including Oranga Tamariki.

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