We were set up to monitor agency compliance with the NCS Regulations. We currently monitor two regulations, which focus on allegations of abuse or neglect of tamariki in care. From 31 December 2020 we will monitor all the NCS Regulations.
We look at how the Oranga Tamariki system enhances the wellbeing and life outcomes of tamariki and rangatahi in care.
We monitor the system of care, not individual children, helping to ensure the wellbeing and interests of children are at the centre of how the State delivers care and support. Central to this is the important role whānau, hapū and iwi play.
We were created following the 2015 Expert Advisory Panel report on Modernising Child, Youth and Family, which recommended the need for greater oversight of New Zealand’s child protection system, and the subsequent 2017 review of independent oversight arrangements for the Oranga Tamariki system and children’s issues.
On 25 March 2019, Cabinet agreed to strengthen independent oversight of the Oranga Tamariki system and appointed the Ministry of Social Development (the Ministry) to set up a robust independent monitoring and assurance function for the system. The Minister for Social Development, the Hon Carmel Sepuloni announced these changes on 9 April 2019.
Formally established on 1 July 2019, we operate independently from the Ministry’s core business and have our own systems to keep information secure.
The in-principle intent is for the Monitor to move to the Office of the Children’s Commissioner once relevant legislation has passed and a robust monitoring function has been fully established.
Our role is to provide a credible view of the State care system. We identify high-performance and areas that drive continuous improvement and support as well as areas that need improvement, helping to improve outcomes for tamariki and rangatahi, particularly tamariki Māori.
We do this by monitoring, assessing and reporting on the performance of agencies that look after tamariki and rangatahi, providing assurance on the extent and quality of compliance under the Oranga Tamariki Act (1989) and the associated National Care Standards Regulations (2018).
In carrying out our role, we place the wellbeing and interests of children at the centre of how we function, ensuring tamariki and rangatahi are seen within the context of their whānau and family.
Our tikanga approach ensures our operating values lay a sound foundation for us to work with tamariki and rangatahi, and those who hold their best interest at heart – their whānau, hapū, iwi and communities.
We focus on building relationships that are respectful and trustworthy, reciprocal, with a common focus. Our proactive engagement, along with effective processes for talking, learning and working together, contributes to successful outcomes.
We do not work in isolation. Key to our success is engaging and partnering with Māori and those who work within or experience the Oranga Tamariki system. We strive to be inclusive, encompassing the diversity of culture, identity and ethnicity of all participants in the care system.
Our values reflect our principles of being child-centred with a te ao Māori lens across all that we do. They are how we behave every day, with each other and with those we work with.
Kia Māia – Courageous
We are brave, bold, capable and confident.
This means we:
- stand up for what is right
- tell the truth, even when it isn’t popular.
Manaaki – Respectful
We show respect and care for others.
This means we:
- respect diversity of thought, action and culture
- have a child centred and te ao Māori perspective woven throughout all our work
- look out for each other and make work a safe place for our colleagues.
Kia Pono, Kia Tika - Trustworthy
We are honest and genuine and do the right thing.
This means we:
- admit when we don’t know the answer
- cross-check our data
- do what we say we will and communicate in a timely manner if we can’t.
Kia Huritao – Reflective
We are considered and reflective.
This means we:
- learn from experience, value feedback and always look for opportunities to improve
- take the necessary time to make the best decisions we can
- never assume we know what is best.
Our Outcomes Framework represents our perspective of what matters for tamariki, rangatahi and whānau in the Oranga Tamariki system, now and into the future.
We took an outcomes-based approach and holistic te ao Māori lens to support the development of the Framework. The Framework draws upon the Government’s six wellbeing outcomes from the Child and Youth Wellbeing Strategy and incorporates key dimensions from the Whānau Ora Outcomes Framework and the Oranga Tamariki Outcomes Framework.
Our Framework will initially be used to measure outcomes for tamariki and rangatahi in relation to the delivery of the National Care Standards and provides:
assurance that tamariki and rangatahi in the care and custody of the State are being appropriately cared for against the NCS Regulations
an indication that positive outcomes for tamariki, rangatahi and whānau wellbeing are being achieved.
Relationship Management Model
Our Relationship Management Model (RMM) supports our monitoring activity and engagement and outlines the four key components that drive and underpin this model and broader engagement – our design principles, our values, our commitment to Māori and our tikanga approach.
We are a growing team, with operational teams located in Tāmaki Makaurau, Whanganui-a-Tara and Ōtautahi.
Arran Jones, Executive Director
Arran Jones is the lead of the Monitor, and has held a number of leadership roles at the Ministry of Social Development, including with Legal Services, the Office of the Chief Executive and Work and Income. He also helped establish Oranga Tamariki, having led a workstream within the Investing in Children programme, and returns to the Ministry of Social Development having been the Head of Privacy at ACC.
Arran sees the role as a way of contributing to the wellbeing of our tamariki and rangatahi.
“The Independent Children's Monitor has an important role to play in improving the lives of children and young people. Getting this right requires us to listen to many voices, including those of carers, communities, and the children and young people who need a system that supports them to live their best lives. Reflecting those voices in our mahi, and in how we hold each other to account, is a big part of our challenge. It’s also how the Monitor can provide the greatest support to Oranga Tamariki and other monitored agencies and ultimately the children and young people in their care.”
Office of the Children’s Commissioner
The Children’s Commissioner provides information and advice on children’s rights and guidance on dealing with a range of issues. More information can be found on the Office of the Children's Commissioner website or you can call the Commission’s Child Rights Advice line on 0800 224 453.
Office of the Ombudsman
The Ombudsman helps the community in its dealings with government agencies and handles complaints against government agencies. Visit the Ombudsman New Zealand website for more information. For advice or guidance on making a complaint call 0800 802 602.