Artwork painted by a young woman (aged 17) with experience of the youth justice system, and her social worker.

Service and practice model


The service and practice model design workstreams will progress the end-to-end design of the five core services and associated practices that will be delivered by The Ministry of Vulnerable Children, Oranga Tamariki. These will not operate as silos, but be integrated horizontally and vertically across the operating model.

The core services include:

Early enhancements

While full design and delivery of these services will occur over four years, we are 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.

They provide a way of giving early effect to the practices and behaviours of the future system, as well as learnings to refine and iterate these.


We're adopting a collaborative approach to the design and delivery of the five core service areas, which places children and young people in the centre. The design methodology will be based on three key ‘voices':

  • voice of lived experience
  • voice of intent
  • voice of the expert.

See more about the 'three key voices' design approach

We are also taking an iterative approach which means testing and learning as we go, and applying our learnings to the next stage of design and rollout.

Involving others in service design

There are a range of ways we are looking to involve people in the service design process, including:

  • cross-agency workstream teams: design teams include cross-agency, NGO and frontline representation
  • cross-agency working groups - design: provide advice and feedback on proposals/champion design in respective agencies
  • regional service design hubs: utilise pre-existing regional groups to support testing, developing and refining of discrete pieces of work
  • project specific subject matter expert groups: bring relevant professional, academic and cultural expertise to specific aspects of the design
  • Youth Advisory Council: engage to test and refine during design phases
  • expert interviews: a range of New Zealand and international experts
  • existing stakeholder forums (including Māori and Pacific leadership and NGO/provider reference groups): help generate and test thinking
  • collaborative design workshops: groups of people, across the country, brought together to generate ideas, test and/or refine specific aspects of design.

More about collaborative design workshops

Collaborative design workshops involve bringing groups of people together across the country to generate ideas and test and refine specific aspects of the design of future services for children, young people and their families and whānau. They provide a great opportunity to draw on a wealth of experience and will be a key feature of our design approach over the next four years.

A series of workshops have been held , with an initial focus on the following areas:

  • national care standards
  • the design of transition support services to prepare for raising the care and protection age to 18
  • the practice framework
  • the design of early initiatives to provide better support to caregivers.

These workshops have been held around the country, and involved: young people, whānau and caregivers staff from Child, Youth and Family, Community Investment and the Children's Action Plan, stakeholders from across government, NGOs, Māori/iwi and community groups, and caregivers.

Some initial themes

While it’s early days, a number of initial themes have started to emerge. We expect these themes will continue to develop as we engage with different groups:

Initial themes relating to Transition Support services include the need for:

  • a dedicated, skilled workforce to meet the particular needs of adolescents
  • a single point of contact to coordinate the range of supports for young people
  • flexible funding to enable creative responses and ensure young people are well prepared from a practical perspective when they turn 18
  • caregivers to have the autonomy to make normal parenting decisions to support the development of young people in their care
  • strategic partnerships with iwi to support cultural connections.

Initial themes relating to Care Support services include the need for:

  • a dedicated workforce of professionals with the skills and motivation to work with 15-18 year olds
  • better connections with iwi to connect children and young people with whānau, whakapapa and appropriate mentors in the community
  • enhanced and specialised caregiver training, and better information about the training that is available
  • relationship-based support for caregivers that is easy to access

Initial themes relating to the Practice framework include:

  • the importance of enabling a Māori world view to be a lens through which practice is guided
  • better support for inter-agency working
  • importance of collaborative design
  • importance of strong, trusting relationships with children, young people, whānau, and also between workers
  • the need for collaborative design.
Artwork painted by a young woman (aged 17) with experience of the youth justice system, and her social worker.

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