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Independent Children’s Monitor August 2020 Newsletter

Hi <<First Name>>

Kia ora koutou and welcome to the August 2020 update from the Independent Children’s Monitor.

Second monitoring report

We have published our second report outlining agency compliance with the Oranga Tamariki (National Care Standards and Related Matters) Regulations 2018 (NCS Regulations).Report cover

As with our initial report, this report focuses on regulations 69 and 85, which relate to reports of abuse and neglect of children and young people in care, and, as appropriate, regulation 86, which requires agencies to have a system for self-monitoring.

This second report outlines our findings for the six-month period from 1 July 2019 to 31 December 2019. Links to agency responses to the report can also be found on our website.

In presenting this second report, we would like to acknowledge the impact this year so far has had on individuals, whānau, businesses and communities.

With restrictions, social distancing and “bubbles” becoming the norm, we thank the monitored agencies for their continued focus on our most vulnerable tamariki and rangatahi, while balancing their own families, and still being able to provide us with the information needed to produce this report.

Me mihi ki a koutou mō ngā pukumahi katoa i roto i ēnei wā rerekē. Thank you for all of your hard work during these unusual times.

Summary of findings – 1 October 2019 to 31 December:

  • All agencies were compliant with regulations 69, 85 and 86 from a policy and procedure perspective.
  • In response to regulations 69 and 85, Barnardos and Dingwall Trust reported no cases of abuse or neglect and therefore testing of their compliance was not required; Open Home Foundation reported one allegation of abuse or neglect and Oranga Tamariki reported 392 allegations of abuse or neglect.
  • Based on information provided, Open Home Foundation was compliant with regulations 69 and 85.
  • Based on information provided, Oranga Tamariki was partially compliant. It has been successful in ensuring a child’s plan is reviewed, and there has been improvement in reviewing caregiver plans and providing support. However, significant focus and improvement is needed in the timeliness of investigations and assessment, the recording and reporting of information, and in letting tamariki, rangatahi and relevant parties know about the outcome.

View the report online

Operations team engagement

The operations team has started a series of engagements around New Zealand with Oranga Tamariki contracted care partners and with agencies who are keen to be involved in our future mahi. Discussions with those involved in frontline service delivery helps inform the development of our monitoring practice and assessment approach. These engagements provide insights on how we best engage with communities next year once we are monitoring all the NCS Regulations.

Recruitment

After a delayed start due to the COVID19 response, recruitment for our permanent staff is nearly complete. The quality of the candidates has been amazing and we are humbled by the level of interest.

Our first permanent staff started on 13 July with others joining us from the end of August.  We expect everyone from our first round of recruitment to be on board by the end of September.

We have three hubs around the country with managers in Christchurch, Wellington and Auckland; staff will be based in those main centres as well as in Taranaki and Waikato.

Our next focus is on welcoming, getting to know and inducting our new team members.

We hope to start our next round of recruitment in March 2021. Some individual roles may be advertised in the upcoming months, so keep an eye on our website.

What’s coming up next?

Our third and final report on agency compliance with regulations 69 and 85 of the NCS Regulations will be provided to the Minister for Children at the end of November 2020. Engagement with selected agency staff will take place from mid-September to mid-October to understand the actual service experience and assess the quality of care provided compared to the information and data provided by the agencies. 

We are also preparing to expand monitoring activities to all aspects of the NCS Regulations with effect from December 2020. In October and November, we will be running pilots to test and evaluate our assessment approach. This includes testing our tools and processes to engage with agency staff, NGO providers, tamariki/rangatahi, caregivers and family/whānau.

If you would like to hear more about these pilots or any of our ongoing work, please contact us at info@icm.org.nz.

Ngā mihi nui
Arran Jones
Executive Director
Independent Children’s Monitor 
Copyright © 2020 Independent Children's Monitor, All rights reserved.


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