Kotahitanga logo

Kotahitanga - General news

01 October 2019.

Strengthening oversight of the Oranga Tamariki system

Community providers and others working or with an interest in the Oranga Tamariki system will hear a lot more from the new Independent Children’s Monitor (ICM) as it develops its monitoring assessment framework and operating model over the next 15 months.

MSD was appointed by the Government earlier this year to operate and set up the ICM function as part of moves to strengthen the independent oversight of the Oranga Tamariki system.

“Since 1 July, the Independent Children’s Monitor has been operating under existing legislation with a focus on abuse or neglect of children in care or custody under Regulations 69 and 85 of the National Care Standards Regulations,” says ICM Executive Director Melissa Gill.

“We are working closely with the agencies we currently monitor: Oranga Tamariki, Open Home Foundation, Barnardos and the Dingwall Trust (the current agencies with custody of children in their own right). We have also engaged with Māori to capture their views on the purpose of the monitor.

“Over the next 15 months or so we will design and develop the monitoring function as it expands to cover all the National Care Standards Regulations and eventually the whole of the Oranga Tamariki system, supported by new legislation,” says Melissa.

“As our role expands, so will our engagement with the provider sector and with individuals and groups involved in children’s rights, interests and wellbeing. We are currently working on how we will do this and will be in touch again soon.”

Melissa says it is important to understand that the ICM monitors the system, not individual children, and is part of moves to ensure the wellbeing and interests of children are at the centre of how the state delivers care and support.

“The planned legislation will give us the levers we need to monitor the Oranga Tamariki system and support wider changes to strengthen the independent oversight of the system. This includes enhancement to the Children’s Commissioner’s advocacy role for all New Zealand children and young people, and the Ombudsman’s oversight and investigation of complaints related to the Oranga Tamariki Act 1989.

While MSD has been given the job of setting up the monitor, the ICM operates as independently as possible from the rest of the Ministry. The Government has decided its intention, in principle, is that the function will transfer to the Office of the Children’s Commissioner once it is fully established and working well.

Social Sector Accreditation Standards updated

Social sector standards image

The Social Sector Accreditation Standards, that providers are assessed against, have been updated.

The requirements for meeting the standards and the guidelines that support them have not changed. However, the references and legislation have been updated. This will not affect the accreditation status of providers and there is no need for action until the next review.

The accreditation standards will be more thoroughly reviewed in 2020 to ensure they continue to be fit for purpose in the social sector. Accreditation Assessors will hold conversations with their providers when planning the next accreditation review.

Kotahitanga logo
Print this page.